Back in April, a developer was interested in purchasing a piece of land behind the retaining wall with the mural on Market St. This property is at the bottom of what is fondly referred to as Al's Park. That developer wanted to pave a driveway through Al's Park to access the garage of the new building.
This caused an incredible uproar - several dozen people showed up at the "pre-application" meeting to protest. The group's size increased considerably over the next month.
The very unhappy developer finally went away.
So now it's round 2.
An architect named Stephen Antonaros is working with a couple interested in building on the site. This time around there's a better feeling as they appear quite willing to work with the neighborhood to come up with something acceptable.
They have no intention of disturbing Al's Park. Their hope is to be able to access the site from Market. This would involve either cutting a garage into the wall, or removing a small section of the wall at the westernmost end. The 2nd option would open up what is actually a city easement called 19th Street. The easement is the base of Al's Park.
The first 15' behind the retaining wall is not buildable and contains a sewer line. The most likely plan would involve excavating the entire hill down to Market St. The 2 proposed townhouses, built close to the rear of the lot, would be 3 stories above garage - approximately 40' above the street.
Next Thursday, Sept 5, from 6 − 7PM there will be the official pre-application meeting. If you're interested in seeing preliminary plans, and/or provide input, please come. It will take place at Al's Park in the 300 block of Corbett. They will have constructed "story poles" so that the actual height/size will be visible.
I'm attaching a map that shows the site. It says on the bottom "New Stair to Al's Garden". This would not necessarily happen as the immediate neighbors may prefer privacy.
Market St is to the right. The green area is the proposed driveway from Market. The white area above that is the unbuildable 15' easement. The grey triangle is the buildable area. The rectangular striped area is what would be the required rear yard. If approved by the neighborhood and DPW, they would need to apply for a variance to build into this rear yard area. They would maintain the required 45% open space - most likely in front along Market.