Wednesday Public Hearing — Shodeen Zoning

Update: Public hearing will be continued January 4, 2017.

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, 7pm, Batavia City Council Chambers, there will be a public hearing before the Plan Commission on amending the zoning map for the land that would be developed into the massive 186-unit apartment complex at Washington and Wilson in downtown Batavia.

Shodeen’s proposal violates zoning for that area in that it is too tall and will obstruct the view of the river for those east of the area and the view of historic buildings for people west of the river. This requires amending the zoning map to accommodate Shodeen. It also requires a public hearing.

If you don’t like the size of the giant complex that will dwarf everything downtown, this is the time to speak.

Details are here:… , along with a list of questions on p. 3 that the commission is supposed to answer, which you may wish to use as a starting point for comment.

Other things to note from the document: there are other matters that must be addressed by the Plan Commission that are not the particular subject of this public hearing, e.g., parking. The document provided as background for the hearing does note that the parking the project will provide doesn’t even meet the City Code requirements for that amount of apartments and commercial space (402 spaces). Actually, it says since the parking that will be provided (now down to 348 spaces) will be considered “public” parking, built and owned by the City, Shodeen will be providing ZERO parking for its project (see p. 4). How many other developers get to build apartments without providing parking?

The parking study the document references, after applying its “shared parking” calculations and other numerical manipulations, still comes up with a parking shortage that is only minimally helped by this project. They go from (using their “net” numbers) a deficit of 737 spaces according to Code, to a deficit of 245 spaces in their “shared parking” model (p. 6 of…). The currently existing “shared parking” net deficit is calculated at 276 spaces. So $14 million in taxpayer investment gains the public just 31 parking spaces downtown (276-245=31) according to this model. And we’re still lacking 245 spaces.

Using their “best case” version of number manipulations, there will still be a gross deficit of 157 spaces, compared to current deficit of 187. Even with these “best case” numbers, we still gain only 30 parking spaces…for $14 million…and are lacking in parking.

Even worse, if zoning codes were strictly applied and not this “shared parking” wave of the magic wand, the gross parking deficit downtown gets worse by 65 spaces. In other words, if you go by City Code requirements, the study says the city will lose 65 parking spaces with this project, to create a deeper deficit of 710 (gross) parking spaces (737 net).

The study also doesn’t differentiate between weekdays and weekends. It must be assumed they only took into account weekdays, M-F. The “shared parking” graphs they present assume residents will be away at work from morning to evening.What happens on weekends, particularly Saturday mornings when residents of the apartments are occupying all the parking spaces and there’s a Farmer’s Market or something downtown?

If you don’t say anything to your aldermen or Plan Commission, you’re giving them your tacit approval. Your aldermen (except for Kevin Botterman) already think this is a great idea.

Plan Commission public hearing Wednesday, 7pm. You can also contact your aldermen with the button at right.

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