Blaine planning staff hope zoning northeast of the truck route will serve the area’s residential interests better after a Blaine City Council vote on Monday.
City council members voted 6-0, with council member Dennis Olason abstaining, to approve a rezone for land near D and 14th streets just north of H Street. Blaine planning staff first suggested the zoning change in January 2011 as a better fit to the mostly residential area.
The public process for this change involved a neighborhood meeting in October and three public hearings, including one at the February 13 city council meeting. After two planning commission meetings worth of discussion, Blaine planning commissioners voted to recommend the changes to the city council on December 8.
The land in question was previously zoned for light manufacturing or commercial use, but Blaine planning staff believe this designation no longer makes sense given the inability to access the land via the truck route. Planning staff recommended the land’s zoning be changed to reflect the area’s primarily residential surroundings and a different commercial zoning designation be added closer to the truck route.
Planning staff recommended four specific changes to the area’s zoning:
• The area between D Street, the C Street right of way, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned to medium residential density from zoning that allows both residential and commercial uses.
• The area between the C Street right of way, B Street, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned from low residential density to medium residential density.
• The area on the north side of the 1500 block of H Street to Lincoln Park where the General Services Administration facility is located should be rezoned from medium residential density to public use.
• The area adjacent to 14th Street and E Street should be rezoned from light manufacturing and commercial zoning
to zoning that allows for commercial uses, such as hotels and restaurants, but not manufacturing.
In addition to the zoning changes, planning staff proposed changes to the area’s comprehensive plan that will keep 14th Street, which runs north/south, from connecting to H Street for the foreseeable future. Blaine community planner Alex Wenger said residents in the area have expressed concern that 14th Street would become too congested if it connected to H Street.