With the rezoning of Old Lakeview, are district lines being revamped to account for school closures? And with that, are parks in housing areas currently in BC wards going to gain attention for rehab? McCrea has basketball and tennis courts that are currently unusable. Kids literally play ball in the streets on bus routes. What can we do to change this culture? (Full question.)
-The city is working on a new zoning map for the entire city. Most areas will be the same, or similar to what they are zoned now. Most of the changes will be to commercial corridors, and the changes will allow more flexibility for allowable building uses. Most elementary schools were constructed as neighborhood schools, and located in the middle of single-family residential neighborhoods zoned for those single-family homes.
At this time, it is likely that the closed schools will remain in a single-family residential zoning district. While it is unlikely that someone would purchase these buildings for a home, their large size can accommodate myriad uses – multi-family housing, live/work space, artist co-op, retail, coffee shop, baker, light manufacturing, etc. Every school is situated differently, so it is important to have the ability to review a proposal to evaluate neighborhood context, noise, parking, traffic, etc. to make sure that the use would be harmonious with surrounding properties. This also gives the neighborhood the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed use.
-The city budgets a certain amount per year to handle park maintenance. Larger park projects are included in the city’s annual Capital Improvement Plan. Calhoun County is considering a ballot proposal for a countywide parks millage that would create funding for park development and maintenance. Such a millage would allow the city to do much more park maintenance on an annual basis. Regardless of the millage outcome, the city will continue to address as many park maintenance issues as possible, with current budget constraints.