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Woman's Exchange Expansion - April 8 Meeting

Please attend the April 8 Planning Board MeetingWednesday, April 8 · 6:00 pm · City Hall 1565 First Street · Commission Chambers

Status Update

Plans for the Woman's Exchange expansion are temporarily on hold while everyone waits for the next Planning Board meeting on April 8.

Summary of March 11 Planning Board Meeting

The Woman's Exchange has requested some adjustments, i.e., modifications of the City's code. In order for the project to move forward, the Woman's Exchange must receive three positive votes from the Planning Board. On March 11, they received two positive votes and one negative vote.

Although the Planning Board is normally 5 members, one member had to recuse himself (Chris Gallagher, architect for the project) and another board member was absent due to a family emergency. The absent board member will have the opportunity to vote at the April 8 meeting. If the vote is positive, the City will then make a final decision about the project, and it is at that point that the neighborhood will decide whether to file a formal appeal. If the vote is negative, the project cannot move forward.

The neighborhood had a good attendance at the March 11 Planning Board meeting.

It was very disappointing to discover that the city lawyer would not allow any discussion of the loading ramp on Rawls. It was stated that all the adjustments were on the southern wing, and therefore no discussion of the norther wing (where the loading dock is located) could take place.

This seemed very unreasonable since:

  1. it is obviously all one project
  2. the approval of the adjustments in the south mean that the Woman's Exchange has to put the loading dock in the north
  3. the hearing advertised both parcels

However, the city lawyer was in charge, and we had no choice but to comply. If the neighborhood appeals the entire project in the future, we will be able to discuss everything, including the loading dock.

>Next Steps

Please plan to attend the April 8 meeting. This item will be the first thing considered at that meeting, so it should not be a late night.

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