Downtown Heights As Voted on By the Plan Commission

With respect to the issue of height in the Core District and Central Core District (Fountain Square Block), the Plan Commission took the following actions last night:

The Commission is recommending to P&D that base height in the Core (roughly bounded by University on the north, Grove on the South, Chicago on the east, and the tracks on the west) be 165 feet, with maximum height (if all bonuses have been acheived)of 275 feet. (The correlation of feet to floors is roughly 11 feet per residential floor, and 13-15 feet per retail or office floor.) This base height is the one proposed by consultants, but the "capped" height is lower than that initially proposed by the consultant team.

The Commissioners were unable to reach consensus on base and maximum height in the Central Core District (Fountain Square Block).

Four separate votes were taken regarding height in the Central Core. All eight voting Commissioners were present. The results of the four votes will be forwarded to P&D along with Commissioner or staff-generated memoranda explaining the rationale underlying the votes. These votes were:

  1. Designating the entire Fountain Square Block as "OS" (Open Space): Vote was 8-0 against.
  2. Designating the entire Fountain Square Block as a Traditional District: Vote was 4-4 split.
  3. Establishing the base and capped height in the Fountain Square Block as identical to that in the Core District (base height 165 feet, and capped height 275 feet): Vote was 5-3 in favor.
  4. Establishing the base height in the Fountain Square Block as 165 feet, and the capped height at 365 feet: Vote was 4-4 split.

As is obvious, Commissioners were not required to vote for only one of the four proposals. Rather, each Commissioner voted on EACH of the four proposals.

The next Plan Commission meeting on the Downtown Plan is Sept. 10. P&D (Council) members will receive a clean copy of the revised Plan, as well as a markup which will show the evolution of the Plan during its months in the Plan Commission. Attached to these two "books" will be memoranda from the Commissioners (or a staff-drafted summary for those Commissioners who don't want to prepare their own) explaining his/her votes on the Fountain Square Block.

Jim Woods requested that the Planning Division (Dennis Marino) make available to the public clean copies of the revised Plan at least three weeks before public comment is taken at P&D on the revised Plan.