Modification of waterfront public access area and visual corridor requirements
(a) Authorization to modify requirements for location, area and minimum dimensions of waterfront public access areas and visual corridors
The City Planning Commission may modify the requirements of Section 62-50 (GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VISUAL CORRIDORS AND WATERFRONT PUBLIC ACCESS AREAS) and, in conjunction therewith, Section 62-332 (Rear yards and waterfront yards). The Commission may also authorize a portion or all of the required waterfront public access area to be provided off-site on an adjoining public property.
The Commission shall file any such authorization, pursuant to this paragraph (a), with the City Council. The Council, within 20 days of such filing, may resolve by majority vote to review such authorization. If the Council so resolves, within 50 days of the filing of the Commission's authorization, the Council shall hold a public hearing and may approve such authorization in whole or in part, with additional or modified restrictions or conditions, or disapprove such authorization. If, within the time periods provided for in this Section, the Council fails to act on the Commission's authorization, the Council shall be deemed to have approved such authorization.
(1) In order to modify the location of waterfront public access areas and visual corridors, the Commission shall find that such areas, provided either on the zoning lot or off-site adjacent to the zoning lot, shall:
(i) comply with the required minimum dimensions and equal the required total area, in aggregate; and
(ii) due to their alternative location and design, provide equivalent public use and enjoyment of the waterfront and views to the water from upland streets and other public areas; or
(2) In the event the Commission determines that there is no feasible way to provide equal alternative waterfront public access areas either on the zoning lot or off-site on an adjoining public property or to provide equal alternative visual corridors, the Commission may authorize a reduction in minimum dimensions or area, or may waive such requirements, provided that:
(i) such development would be impracticable, physically or programmatically, due to site planning constraints such as the presence of existing buildings or other structures or elements having environmental, historic or aesthetic value to the public; and
(ii) that the reduction or waiver of requirements is the minimum necessary.
(b) Authorization to modify requirements within waterfront public access areas
The City Planning Commission may modify the requirements within the waterfront public access area provisions of Sections 62-513 (Permitted obstructions in visual corridors), 62-58 (Requirements for Water-Dependant Uses and Other Developments), 62-60 (DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR WATERFRONT PUBLIC ACCESS AREAS), inclusive, and 62-90 (WATERFRONT ACCESS PLANS), inclusive.
In order to grant such authorization, the Commission shall find that such modifications:
(1) are necessary to accommodate modifications pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section; or
(2) would result in a design of waterfront public access areas that is functionally equivalent or superior to the design prescribed by strict adherence to the applicable provisions.
(c) Authorization for phased development of waterfront public access areas
The City Planning Commission may authorize a phasing plan to implement waterfront public access area improvements on zoning lots undergoing partial development or zoning lots subdivided or reconfigured, pursuant to Section 62-812.
In order to grant such authorization, the Commission shall find that:
(1) the amount of waterfront public access area developed in any phase is proportionate to the lot area being developed in such phase; or
(2) physical or programmatic constraints make it infeasible to provide the waterfront public access area on a proportional basis as the zoning lot is improved, and the maximum feasible amount of waterfront public access area is developed in each phase.
A phasing plan shall be submitted that sets forth the amount and location of waterfront public access area that will be provided at the time each phase is developed.
(d) Authorization to modify minimum hours of operation and to install gates
The City Planning Commission may authorize, for a period not to exceed 10 years, modifications of the requirements for hours of operation set forth in Section 62-71, paragraph (a), or the installation of gates in predominantly residential developments in accordance with the provisions of Section 62-651, paragraph (c)(2).
The Commission shall find that any modification of the hours of operation and the installation of gates in predominantly residential developments are warranted due to the remote location of the waterfront public access areas, and that such modified hours of operation or gates will not thereby unduly restrict public access to the waterfront.
As a condition of granting such authorization, the Commission shall find that all gates comply with the design requirements set forth in Section 62-651.
Public access to the waterfront public access areas shall be assured by appropriate legal instruments. Signage setting forth hours of operation shall be affixed to the gate which shall indicate the hours of public access authorized pursuant to this paragraph (d).
The Commission may impose appropriate conditions and safeguards to assure that such modifications will achieve comparable physical and visual access to the waterfront or to assure that an approved phasing plan will be properly implemented. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, deed restrictions, easements or performance bonds.