Chapter 3 - Land Use
EXISTING AREAS OF OVER-CONCENTRATION OF DENSITY
While it is the intent of the Framework Element to encourage development in districts and centers and along designated mixed-use boulevards and transit routes at sufficient densities to sustain these areas and support the local transit system, it is also the intent to maintain existing stable multi-family residential neighborhoods, mixed-use boulevards and commercial areas and to minimize impacts on those neighborhoods and on areas of inadequate infrastructure and/or overly intense development. While multi-family and mixed-use neighborhoods occur throughout the City, a number of such neighborhoods have a disproportionately high percentage of high density development. This is particularly true in neighborhoods that were historically developed with lower density uses and have been intensified over time. In these cases, the infrastructure that was sized and services provided to accommodate the lower densities have been adversely impacted by the increased population. As a result, many lack adequate schools, open space, street capacity and other services and infrastructure.
Recognizing these impacts, the Framework Element prioritizes the expansion of infrastructure and services in these areas. At the same time, it is critical to reconcile the deficit of infrastructure and services before significant further intensification occurs in these areas to prevent additional adverse impacts.
Mixed-use, multi-family residential and commercial areas that enhance the quality of life for the City's existing and future residents and businesses.
Provide for the stability and enhancement of multi-family residential, mixed-use, and/or commercial areas of the City and direct growth to areas where sufficient public infrastructure and services exist.
Consider decreasing the permitted densities of areas designated for multi-family residential, mixed-use, and/or commercial uses where there is: 1) a mix of existing unit types and densities; 2) built density is below the maximum permitted; 3) a significant concentration of high density development relative to the intensity of development in the surrounding area or other communities in the City. This may be accomplished by amendments of the permitted densities in Community Plans or by zoning. Determination of reducing permitted densities should consider the following criteria:
a. There is inadequate public infrastructure or services to provide for the needs of the existing residents and/or businesses and the cost of additional improvements would result in an undue burden on the community or are infeasible;
b. The quality of life of the area's residents and/or businesses has been adversely affected by the density of development as measured by crime, noise, pollution, traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, lack of open space, limited sewer capacity and other comparable conditions;
c. There is an over-concentration of existing high density multi-family residential, mixed and commercial uses relative to the intensity of development in the surrounding area or other communities in the City;
d. The neighborhood and/or commercial area is physically and functionally stable;
e. The existing buildings are structurally sound or can be upgraded without undue costs;
f. There is a desire of the residents to preserve existing housing and neighborhood qualities; and
g. Adequate housing and/or commercial potential can be provided in nearby areas with sufficient infrastructure and services capacities, including those designated for mixed-use development, in order to offset the loss of potential housing units and/or commercial square footage due to reduced densities.
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