Cooper Pierce of Jones Pierce Architects explains the extensive zoning process for the project Villa De Grip in Atlanta.  He begins by giving the zoning history of the site, and walks through the rezoning process. He also talks about zoning overlays and how local requirements impacted the building design.  

Practical Applications

Today we're going to be talking about a project that we've worked on called Villa de Grip. It is an existing warehouse in a historic neighborhood called Inman Park. It was zoned on RG2 multi-family Zoning in a block that was industrial and commercial.

It is a historic neighborhood that has, were right on a corner of a commercial node so you have more commercial properties and then this way you're into the rest of the neighborhood as well as this SPI that is for special interest district which happened to be Freedom Park where the Carter Library is. What we were having to deal with in this project was taking this zoning and changing it to C1 and we actually looked at C1, C2 a mixed use zoning that is MRC to look to re-develop this property. In order to change the zoning we referenced the city of Atlanta comprehensive development plan which these plans generally tell you what the city in conjunction with the neighborhoods have determined future uses for properties.

And so they've come back because this was contested, the city's zoning staff, planning staff, designated this area A-1, more as a place-holder because that was the, what they did is apartment zoning, thinking that would be a good buffer between this manufacturing core and this historical neighborhood. So that got put in place. And then when the new zoning code came in, in 1982, all that M-1 became I-1, the commercial remained commercial.

What they're looking for in the zoning code is your rentable floor area, be it residential or commercial. So we had to look at how much rentable floor space we were putting in. Then on top of that, you have parking requirements.

We had a ramp that went down to a lower level, and this sort of went straight in to an upper level. It had car lifts so that you got two cars for every space. So we have this upper level was sort of double height.

And if we put the stair here, this was sort of our street entrance area, so we really just sorta located here. It is gonna be sprinklered, so we weren't really gettin' into any distance issues. This also, this stair not only served this building, but it served the parking deck.

Then up on the main, this top floor here, we looked at since people would be coming up this same elevator and going in this way and they have these stairs that somewhere in this zone right here because you have a floor this way and the floor this way that this would be the location for those restrooms for that large office floor. And you can bring your pipes over and we get everything consolidated still in this area. With the kitchen here down below, if our restaurant restrooms are in this area, you seem to have everything pretty consolidated and can kind of come out into Copenhill to connect to the utilities.

So, this helped us to explain to them that what was gray level down here, by the time we got up here, you were up on the second floor of this building and that the other, the parking was at this level, this level and then a lower level in there and so, we were showing the garage entering there and we actually had an office level above that. This was showing from going up at the corner of Copenhill, looking back down, that really sort of helped them start to understand that the house that was in the property next door, higher up and gray they were to this building. So the model really helped them experience what we were trying to do as a mass and this showed the courtyard.

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