No matter how unapologetically obtuse the Planning Commissioners’ remarks may seem, Ms. Kier’s point that “It is not the image we want to have of our Town Center” is entirely consistent with the public record from 2006-07 when the Downtown Revitalization Plan was debated and approved. In fact, that plan, as originally proposed by both the Planning Commission and the City Council, did not allow development or re-development of any one-story building between 56th and 58th from 232nd south to 234th. Our current mayor was quoted as wanting 15 stories so he could see Lake Washington from his corner office.
Please see the King TV story concerning the relationship breakdown between the city and Mr. Taylor concerning his property, which is the subject of another recent MLTNEWS story. Another variety of obtuse behavior by city officials is the primary reason a city hall of at least 7 stories does not already stand where the Calvary Church still resides.
All of this is by way of context to understanding the latest “are you kidding” remark from our public officials. The bigger farce is that whether as volunteers or lowly paid elected officials, these people are making binding decisions on our behalf. Those decisions put in motion forces beyond our capacity, and apparently theirs, to control. I did not approve of tall buildings in downtown then and still don’t. Nonetheless more are on the way. Mr. Taylor’s asking price telegraphs his expectations for even taller buildings; the math doesn’t work otherwise.
It is, however, just as true that revitalization of some kind, like a well received brew pub, is more desirable to the downtown core than no revitalization. While we all wait for the dreams of our own local Politburo to come true we can at least have a beer.