Reader Raises Good Question

Gloria Fenner raised a good question about the four lot development on 5th Avenue and 18th Street. She questioned whether there were other blocks where four residences exist between a major and a minor avenue. I went for a drive-around to get an informal count. I counted five examples of four residences between a major and a minor avenue, 26 examples of three and the rest were two or one. I concluded that three was the most common, two or one next and four least common but not unusual. Incidentally, I agree with Phyllis Factor’s observation that only one location has a major/street corner house facing the street. All others face the major avenue. The APHZAB wanted the major avenue/street lot to face 5th Avenue. The developer might object because the setbacks along 5th seem greater than those along 18th Street. There are two more similar vacant lots in the same area so what is done in this case will likely have an impact on how they are developed.

Her question raised two other issues for me. First, should the historic process consider residence density when evaluating the rhythm of a particular location? Even though the underlying zoning may allow such density, it may disrupt the rhythm of an historic neighborhood. Second, the resubdivision has had tentative approval and the process moves forward while the project has still not been presented formally to the APHZAB. Density can have a major impact on the rhythm of a locale and the historic character of the neighborhood so the APHZAB and community should pay attention to the subject. The historic review process should be complete before any resubdivision is approved.

What do you think?

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