The city's three-story limit on commercial buildings may be waived for certain commercial establishments that want to provide fitness facilities, cafeterias or child-care centers for their employees, under an ordinance introduced at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Permits for fourth-story construction would be granted on a case-by-case basis, after review by the city's Planning Commission, and would have to meet stringent architectural and space restrictions.
Both Mayor Max Salter and Council member Vicki Reynolds expressed support for the ordinance.
Vice Mayor Allan Alexander and Councilman Robert Tannenbaum said they would abstain from voting on the measure, because of their professional associations with Creative Artists Agency, which sought permission to build a recessed fourth story. Creative Artists' request for a zoning variance ultimately led the city's staff to consider limited fourth-story usage on a citywide basis.
Without the affirmative vote of the remaining council member, Bernard Hecht--who was absent because of a back injury--the ordinance could not pass. Three affirmative votes are required. The ordinance will be considered again upon his return.