A couple days ago, a reader tipped us off about two homes under construction on the 1400 block of S. 19th Street, which sits between Reed and Dickinson Streets. We didn't know much about the projects, whether they were new construction or rehabs for example, so we zipped over to Point Breeze to take a look.
1421 S. 19th St. was previously a vacant lot, and was purchased by developers last year for under $20K. Currently, a new single family home is being built here, with the ridiculously required third floor setback. On the plus side, the cornice line for the second story matches the homes on either side, preventing a Chichen Itza effect. Still, the setback looks goofy at best.
Across the street, another former vacant lot is on course to become a new construction single family home. The developers attempted to get a variance for a garage for this property, but were denied at the ZBA last year. Not really sure what they were expecting, considering the lack of garages on the block and the narrow dimensions of the lot. Curiously, even though there's a three story home next door, they're still going with a third floor setback. And unlike the project across the street, the second floor cornice line doesn't match the home next door.
Obviously, the elimination of two vacant lots and the construction of two new homes is a welcome sight, in our eyes. Perhaps an even more welcome sight would be an effort to change the zoning code to eliminate the setback requirement. We've already proposed an alternative that we feel pretty good about.