Note: These are comments Murez sent to another person and cc Update. Felt they were worth printing.
By Jim Murez
The M1 zone allows by right Artist-In-Residences (AIR) uses. One of the
stumbling blocks we face with this use and the overall Mix defined in the
Land Use Plan (LUP) stems back a few years when the City changed the AIR
ratio within each unit.
This ratio is key because it defines the percentage
of residential to commercial use that is allowed. The old code which was
adopted by our LUP provided a 70 : 30 split between commercial vs
residential respectively. In the Cities ultimate wisdom, pushed by
developers downtown, changed the ratio to 10 : 90 (commercial : residential)
claiming it allowed for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.
I fought this change because it invalidated our LUP and would have a huge
impact on our M1 and C2 zoned districts. No one at the time was interested
enough to help with the fight except for a small handful of developers
downtown. To my knowledge they are the only ones that made out in this
So part of the hearing process for this site is going to have to consider
how to regulate how artists are included. This might mean coming up with a
new AIR code that reinstates the old code ratio. If this was done, the vast
majority of the M1 use could be residential designed for the artist
community. And the desired affordable goals the councilman wants would
translate to artists being able to rent or buy units that were not only
designed for working out of but that they could afford.