What will anyone listening to the audio of the April 7 discussion of changes to building height limitations in the Freeway-Tourist Zone learn?
First and most important, the public hearing on this monster change has been continued to April 21. If the city council really cared to let people, particularly people who could potentially be living in the shadow of 20-story buildings, know, they would take this opportunity to get the word out. And I don’t mean just putting the notices in places that people don’t look. This is a big deal for that neighborhood and deserves as much input as the city can possibly solicit from the people living there. That’s why it is called a public process.
Hundreds of homeowners will potentially be impacted, so how about an informative mailer to those people – before the decision. Don’t lecture us about the cost. Given the magnitude of this change and the promiscuous waste of city resources during the last two Civic Campus campaigns the cost argument rings hollow. Besides in this Internet age, an informative flyer targeted to the impacted addresses is neither time consuming or that expensive. When changes with such an extraordinary potential are being considered council should have a notification process commensurate with that importance – not just this time, but every time.
This unprecedented leap in building heights will potentially allow construction of buildings which will hover over the entire southwest portion of the city east of Gateway. Comprehensive Plan Policy EN-1.9 says “ensure that land use policies and development regulations provide for a positive business climate, while protecting the environment and community quality of life.” How does this plan change make our quality of life any better, particularly in that neighborhood?
Is council’s public notification process and that of the Planning Commission a sham with no real intent to stimulate a wide range of views – some of which may vary from the council consensus? Is the council biased toward expanded commercial development even as they acknowledge the impact on an entire single family neighborhood that none of them live in? Listen to the audio and decide for yourself or better yet, show up on April 21.