There’s another development project in the pipeline for Columbia City, and the growth is creeping ever closer to the station. This one is about a block east of Link, at the Zion Prep site, and consists of 244 units in six buildings. That’s the good news.
The mixed news is that the project also includes 222 parking spaces, 93 in the buildings and 129 on the surface. Overall, that’s a decent ratio for new construction. There are two ways to look at the surface spaces: they’re terrible for pedestrians, but they’re also potentially more temporary. The optimistic view is that as they prove the market for these units and the extent the parking is overbuilt, they can convert some of that space into more housing.
The bad news is that the City’s zoning for this parcel is pathetic: Lowrise-3, which is what limits these buildings to 3 or 4 stories. That parcels zoned like this exist over four years after Link opened is, frankly, astonishing. According to Council Spokesperson Dana Robinson Slote, there are no plans to review the site’s zoning, and on a “quasi-judicial matter” Councilmembers aren’t able to comment. The Mayor’s office didn’t answer an email on the subject.
The project would join the recently completed Greenhouse Apartments and 193 apartments over a PCC currently under construction. People can comment on this project through November 6th at the link above. As always, if you live nearby (or would like to) your comments are especially valuable.