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Council Asks Changes to Revised Book Exchange Plan

Proposed Book Exchange Plan - Route 1 side

In last Tuesday’s Council meeting, the Council voted against the latest revised Book Exchange Plan. It also asked for the following conditions that would enable the City Council to support the revised Detailed Site Plan:

  1. Revise the architecture to provide a stepback transition that begins approximately 150 feet west of the Yale Avenue right-of-way (the R-18 zoning line). This shall be accomplished by separating the structure into two buildings divided by a 30-foot alley for access and loading. The building west of the alley would be 6 stories in height and the building east of the alley would be 3 stories in height with the third floor constructed as a 1-story gable roof with habitable dormers. Alternatively, the stepback transition could be accomplished by eliminating the following floors from the structure: The 6th floor facing west on the center courtyard, facing east and south on the east courtyard and the 2 units on the 6th floor facing the University of Maryland on the eastern end of the north elevation; the 4th and 5th floors facing north, south and west on the east courtyard and 1 unit on the 4th and 5th floors facing the University of Maryland on the eastern end of the north elevation. In this alternative, all roofs shall be flat.
  2. Revise the building at the corner of Route 1 and College Avenue to meet the street in a more traditional way, to remove the sidewalk encroachment by the column and stairs, and provide more sidewalk width. Route 1 storefront access should be at grade facing Route 1.
  3. Reduce the use of Hardipanel for cornice treatments and bay projections and improve the vertical articulation of all facades by providing local symmetry.
  4. Revise the composition of the front façade to minimize the impact of the metal towers and be more harmonious with surrounding buildings.
  5. Revise floor plans, where necessary, to eliminate deficiencies such as entrance doors opening to bedrooms (efficiency units), windows facing walls (corner units) and to improve access to bathrooms from bedrooms (4 bedroom, 4 bath units).
  6. Resolve the storm drain issue with the University of Maryland prior to building permit.
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