UP Council Compromises on Legacy Hillcrest Zoning

Tonight’s University Park City Council meeting was all about compromise. To some people, though, compromise means that no one gets exactly what they want. Councilman Jerry Grable said that he hoped that this compromise will help the developers with Legacy Hillcrest Investments move forward with a plan that works for the current Chase Bank site at the Daniel and Hillcrest Avenues.

One of the biggest sticking points for Snider Plaza merchants and nearby residents was the enormity of the buildings proposed by Legacy Hillcrest. Councilman Robert H. Clark, who wanted to limit the size of the development to 117,000 square feet, said that he was OK with his colleagues’ decision to limit the planned development to 136,000 square feet, saying that the council’s goal was to make the development more “compatible with the area.”

Dian Malouf, a jewelry designer and Westminster Avenue resident, was happy with the council’s detailed efforts to keep the development from affecting nearby residents’ quality of life.

“In my recollection, we have been with this issue since 2001,” said Mayor Blackie Holmes regarding the Legacy development as he started the meeting. At that point, the proposed development was 270,500 square feet. Since then, the developer has been back to the drawing board several times, and in it’s last incarnation in front of the council, plans allowed for 187,000 square feet.

Other aspects of the development discussed included the maximum amount of property uses, setbacks, selling city-owned rights of way, a proposed traffic circle, reconstructing the intersection of Daniel and Hillcrest Avenues, below-grade parking structures, a proposed signature tower on the development, and a proposed private entrance court for the site.

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