[IW] Trebloc Survey Response

Cynthia Brock cynthia.ny8 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 3 12:40:20 CDT 2015

Recent statements have been made both at community meetings and through the
First Ward list serves that increases in building height for the downtown
area had been done without informing residents or encouraging public input.​

​As your representative and one who strives to ​promote public engagement
and input, I was concerned that I had failed in my duties to you.  It is
not easy to keep on top of all the activities going on in the City, but it
is important to do what we can to educate and inform our residents of
upcoming events so that we can receive and consider all viewpoints.

To this end, please see below the email I sent on March 20th, 2013 under
the subject heading: Proposed zoning changes: increase in height allowances
in Commons and W State, removal of MPRs citywide, and form-based code for
Collegetown.  As far as I have been able to find, I do not believe any
comments were shared with me in response to my post.

I have followed the Trebloc discussion that George initiated with great
interest, and some dismay, as I feel that there is not much that can be
done at this point to require the proposed development to be scaled down in
size.  I understand there are differing opinions on this, but if the
proposed project is consistent with zoning, then the developer can build
out to those limits as a matter of right.

I supported the change in zoning in 2013 with the position that given the
high demand for student housing, new student housing would be the bulk of
the development pressure.  It is my position that high density housing is
most appropriately located in the downtown core, and not on South Aurora
(where I feared it would go), South Hill or West Hill (or other
single-family neighborhoods).  The Marriott Hotel had already been approved
at 120', and allowing an equal building height at the tuning fork was
consistent with existing construction.  Regretfully, we/I did not have the
foresight at the time to imagine that the Trebloc location would receive a
proposal that would so fully fill the space with such a massive structure
as we have seen.  This, I deeply regret.


"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be
counted, counts."  - William Bruce Cameron
Cynthia Brock
cynthia.ny8 at gmail.com <cynthia.ny at earthlink.net>

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM, Cynthia Brock <cynthia.ny8 at gmail.com>

> Friends and neighbors,
> As you may have seen in the March 13 Ithaca Times, there are an abundance
> of development projects underway in the City and surrounding areas.
> In addition, several new zoning changes are being proposed for the City
> and open for public comment.  They are being reviewed by the Planning &
> Economic Development Committee and have been posed to the City website
> (link to agenda below).  If you would like to view the Collegetown Form
> Based Code presentation and the committee's discussion on these topics, the
> video of the March 13th P&ED meeting will be posted to the City website -
> see: Online Services - Streaming Meetings.
> *Proposal to eliminate Minimum Parking Requirements* (pages 9-31 of the
> agenda)
> ~  This proposal removes minimum parking requirements in all areas of the
> City.  The packet's memo provides the background for this proposal, and the
> attached email from the Building Commissioner Mike Niechwiadowicz provides
> valuable insight into the existing regulatory environment, possible impacts
> and consequences.
> ~  At last Wednesday's P&ED Committee meeting, Mike mentioned that by
> lifting MPRs in the R3 (multi-unit) zone, the City would allow
> approximately 2,000 additional occupants in existing units.  This means
> that without any new construction being done, multi-unit dwellings have the
> capacity to increase their occupancy by 2,000 individuals immediately.
> *Proposed Collegetown Form Based Code* (pages 32-68 of the agenda)
> ~  While not complete (new drawings will be added to the proposal) this
> proposal puts forward a hybrid code which "combines elements of form based
> zoning with regulations of use and density" for application to the
> Collegetown area.
> *Proposal to Amend Downtown Zoning Districts* (page 69-78 of the agenda)
> see map attached
> ~  These proposed changes increases the allowable building height for
> areas extending from West State/MLK to the tuning fork (Seneca, Green and
> East State/MLK) and removes all minimum parking requirements in this area.
>     > W. State/MLK would increase from 50' building height to 60',
> allowing the building to cover 100% of the lot
>     > W. Green/S. Geneva would increase from 60' to 85' in building height
> with a step back allowance (street facade to be shorter)
>     > E. Green/Commons would increase from 85' to 140' in building height
>     > the tuning fork (Seneca, Green and East State/MLK) would increase
> from 60' to 140' along Green and up to 100' along Seneca.
> http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/ithaca/published_documents/Agendas/Planning_and_Economic_Development_Committee/2013/03-13-13%20-%20Planning%20Committee%20Agenda%20Packet%20Final.pdf
> I encourage you to take some time to look at these proposals as they all
> will impact the City's development in the future.  Please feel free to
> contact me, Jennifer and/or the members of the Planning & Economic
> Development Committee with your thoughts and concerns.
> Cynthia
> Cynthia Brock
> First Ward Alderperson
> City of Ithaca Common Council
> 607 398-0883
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