After 13 years, it has become apparent to city leaders that an extra layer of building regulations hasn’t been the right fertilizer to make the Garden District grow.
Despite its charms — a quick walk to Hollis Garden, Barnett Family Park and the Frances Langford Promenade — the roughly 70-acre Garden District has failed to appreciably appreciate like the core Lake Morton neighborhood to the south.
The district, which hosts a number of lovingly maintained and renovated historic and historically compatible homes, is pocked by properties that continue to decline, some becoming victims of what is commonly called “demolition by neglect.”
To spur interest in the district, the City Commission is preparing to remove a layer of building rules that commissioners and building department staffers say at best contribute to investor anxiety about the district, and, at worst, conflict with other land development rules.
“In its current form, the (Garden District plan) is an unwieldy regulatory tool that adds additional complexity and uncertainty to the development process with minimal public benefit,” members of the city’s zoning board declared in a memo approved Jan. 18.
The commission is expected to approve the changes at its regular meeting Monday.
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