General Development Standards
The amount of development that will be possible within the campus boundaries will be determined in part by the development standards included in the Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP). MIMP requirements for development standards include structure setbacks along public rights-of-way and at campus boundaries, height limits, lot coverage, landscaping, and percentage of open space. The MIMP may also be required to include development standards for transitions in height and scale between campus development and development in the surrounding area, width and depth limits for structures, setbacks between structures which are not located on a public right-of-way or along the boundary of the campus, preservation of historic structures, view corridors, and pedestrian circulation within and through the campus. Of these standards, those that involve lot coverage and height limits are the most important in determining the amount of development that is feasible within the campus boundaries.
Currently, the major institution overlay (MIO) for the campus restricts the height of development in a range of 37 feet to 65 feet. Except for the block containing Ashton Hall, where the height limit is 65 feet, the campus area west of Third Avenue West and south of West Bertona Street has a height limit of 50 feet. North of West Bertona and West Nickerson Street the height limit is only 37 feet. East of Third Avenue West, the height limit varies from 37 to 50 feet. A height limit of 50 feet appears appropriate for most of the campus, given the scale of existing development both on campus and in the surrounding area. A height limit of 37 feet severely limits the amount of development that is possible within the campus boundaries, especially since some campus buildings may require a floor-to-floor height of 15 feet. A height increase to 50 feet should be considered for most of the areas with a limit of 37 feet.
The current MIMP does not include a development standard for lot coverage. The existing lot coverage of the buildings (excluding the parking garage) on the University-owned property within the MIO boundaries is approximately 19.2 percent. The lot coverage allowed by the underlying zoning of most of the campus ranges from approximately 40 to 50 percent. A maximum lot coverage of 50 percent for the campus would appear to be reasonable. This would provide the potential for substantial development within the current boundaries, especially if combined with some increases in the height limits.
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