Monday, January 12, 2009

Downtown Differences

General Growth and HoCo planners are busy negotiating over the terms of the company's 30-year redevelopment plan for downtown. The ExploreHoward blog outlines some of the differences that remain, and talks with GenGrowth point man Gregory Hamm and company zoning counsel Todd Brown.

For example, the county wants the project developed in six, five-year phases, not the three, 10-year phases favored by General Growth. But Brown said the company’s plan would work better for financial and planning reasons. He did not specify those reasons.

The two sides also disagree on creating housing for a range of incomes. The county wants 15 percent of homes to be targeted to people making under 80 percent of the county’s median income, or less than $80,000, and 10 percent of homes for people making between 80 and 120 percent of the county’s median income, roughly $80,000 to $120,000.

General Growth’s proposal would have 10 percent of homes for people making under 80 percent and another 10 percent for those in the 80 to 120 percent bracket. Hamm said the county’s suggestion would limit the company’s flexibility in developing downtown....

General Growth said it had no problem with a suggestion of replacing any trees that are destroyed in Symphony Woods acre-for-acre, but suggested that already existing natural areas that are rehabilitated should count toward that replacement figure.

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