23rd Avenue MHA upzone passed by Council

Yesterday afternoon, the City council adopted MHA upzones for three segments of the 23rd Avenue corridor in the Central Area, along with a companion resolution of other city commitments to addressing gentrification and displacement in that area.

The three areas that received zoning updates were 23rd and Jackson, 23rd and Cherry, and 23rd and Union.

This historically black neighborhood has  been one of the most severe victims of gentrification and economic displacement in the city — both residential and commercial. Several community organizations, including the 23rd Avenue Action Community Team, have been working with city officials for years to better manage the changes coming to the neighborhood so as to preserve the historical culture and community. Out of those efforts have come the 23rd Avenue Action Plan, the Central Area Neighborhood Planning Element in the Comprehensive Plan, the Central Area’s Urban Design Framework, and the carefully-negotiated MHA upzone voted on yesterday.

The maps of the rezones show that the changes to 23rd and Jackson are fairly minor, increasing heights from 65 feet to 75 feet.  The upzones at Union and Cherry are more significant.

The companion resolution begins with the important acknowledgement that MHA upzones alone won’t solve affordability and displacement issues, and then lists a number of commitments that city officials are making to continue working with the community.