Backyards will vanish even further, and neighbors will potentially lose more of their unobscured views and light, should the Ordinance B-40 be allowed to stand.
I strongly urge members of City Council to reconsider this blanket ordinance that allows developers to forgo variances (which also inform neighbors of changes) when seeking to build beyond the 60 percent maximum lot coverage when constructing staircases descending from 2nd floors and higher into the backyard.
This ordinance circumvents the existing state law of maximum of 60 percent lot coverage. Stairways that extend into the backyard and potentially obscure light and view of neighbors should continue to be requested on a variance basis, especially when these stairways are being built as part of new construction.
I recognize the importance of having the rear exit for those on 2nd floors and above; however, there are ways to accommodate this without impeding upon the 60 percent lot coverage law that was enacted to help preserve what little green space resides in rear yards. Councilpersons Cunningham, Falco, Fisher, Giattino, and Russo, I strongly urge you to switch your vote on this ordinance.