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Thread: Zoning ordinace distortion in regards to building height

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    Zoning ordinace distortion in regards to building height

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    Thank you for looking further into my topic, I appreciate for any suggestions or comments you may have.

    My name is James L. Richter II, and I am a Planner for the City of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Our Department is currently researching alternatives to a provision in our Zoning Ordinance which regulates building height. Our current Ordinance allows a maximum building height of 25 feet and 2 stories maximum in the "O" Office District. However, recently many architects have found ways around the Ordinance and have attempted to create architectual features that appear as actual floors, but which they claim are solely roof-top structures, skylights, or other features. In addition, our Ordinance measures building height from the front elevation of the building only, leaving an opening for architects to create three stories at the rear elevation, and one or two stories at the front elevation.

    Therefore, I have two questions:

    1)Would anyone be able to provide examples of exeptions to the Zoning Ordinance for architectural features, and/or a way to prevent this distortion of the Ordinance from occuring in the future?

    2)Does anyone have any suggestions for alternative ways in which building height may be measured?

    Again, your responses would be greatly apprectiated. Thanks!

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    Zoning Ordinace distortion in regards to building height

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    In response to: Zoning Ordinace distortion in regards to building height posted by James L. Richter II on June 23, 2000 at 17:59:24:



    Height is frequently measured from the average grade, which would help resolve part of your problem. Try looking up the building height definition in the Uniform Building Code. It may also help with the other issue. It simply doesn't work to define height in terms of stories: there are too many ways to play games with that. Measure it in feet and allow only carefully specified exceptions, like antennae and vents.

  3. #3

    Zoning Ordinace distortion in regards to building height

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    In response to: Zoning Ordinace distortion in regards to building height posted by James L. Richter II on June 23, 2000 at 17:59:24:



    Would these buildings still be a problem if the extra height
    was set farther back from the street? 25 feet gives builders
    space for three tight stories of stories of 8'4" floor to
    floor. If you'd like to minimize the appearance of height,
    while maintaining a compact pattern of development,have them
    set back around 10" from the front of the building.
    If it's the density that's the problem, I agree with the
    previous respondent.
    If they really are housing air conditioners and telecom
    equipment in the "architectural features" exceeding your
    limits,that's probably to your advantage.
    I live and work in New York City which (for the time being)
    uses a method called the Sky Exposure Plane instead of height
    limits. It is less certain, but sets permitted height relative
    to street width and can be a good performance measure for
    preserving sunlight.
    : Therefore, I have two questions:

    : 1)Would anyone be able to provide examples of exeptions to
    the Zoning Ordinance for architectural features, and/or a
    way to prevent this distortion of the Ordinance from
    occuring in the future?

    : 2)Does anyone have any suggestions for alternative ways
    in which building height may be measured?

    : Again, your responses would be greatly apprectiated. Thanks!

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