Zoning panel OKs grandstands at Johns Hopkins

November 05, 1997|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

With no debate or discussion yesterday, the city zoning board unanimously approved a request by the Johns Hopkins University to build grandstands on the north side of Homewood Field.

Hopkins began work on the grandstands about a month ago, but the construction prompted no comment from panel members.

With its approval, the zoning board included one condition in its decision. At the insistence of the planning department, the final design must be reviewed and approved by city planning officials.

"Of particular concern is closing in the back of the grandstand that faces University Parkway so that residents and others cannot see through to the bleachers," according to a planning department statement included in the record.

Representing the university at yesterday's hearing was Stephen Campbell, executive director of facilities and real estate. No neighborhood leaders were present.

The grandstands will cost $2.3 million and seat 4,700.

Because the design violates the residential ordinance that requires grandstands to be no closer than 100 feet to the nearest property line, Hopkins had to request permission for a zoning variance. The grandstands will be 30 feet from the property line.

A. J. O'Brien, president of Tuscany-Canterbury Association, delivered a letter to the board stating that he and Campbell had discussed the design several times. The letter said the university had agreed to "create a finished look" using architectural panels to enhance the grandstands' appearance from the street.

Campbell said the university assured O'Brien that "we would meet their criteria."

Hopkins officials said the goal is to finish the stands by March 1, the start of lacrosse season.

Pub Date: 11/05/97

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