Protecting our Neighborhoods
The city of Ithaca’s culture depends on it’s residential neighborhoods. These are neighborhoods full of architectural significance and owner occupied housing. Neighborhoods like Fall Creek, Belle Sherman, Bryant Park, South Hill, West Hill, Northside, and Southside deserve to be protected from development pressure.
Expanding housing and creating new jobs doesn’t mean losing this character. We can preserve our residential neighborhoods while pursuing the other things we value.
The tools we need:
Form Based Zoning
I’ve been a consistent proponent of form based zoning in Collegetown and believes it can work in other areas of the City. This zoning tool ensures that new development will conform to architectural important standards and prevent blockly, rectangular buildings from intruding on our neighborhoods.
Binding Design Review
The city’s current design review process is toothless. With new legislation, like the one being considered in Collegetown, the City can better enforce design standards.
I served on the subcommittee that created the R-3AA zone in the city of Ithaca. When used judiciously, R-3AA zoning will prevent large, uninterrupted, blocky buildings and discourage the building of new dorms that will be taken off the tax rolls. It is not appropriate for every neighborhood,but it is another important piece of the preservation toolkit.