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Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Cedar - I couldn't agree more. In addition to criteria, prerequisites should also be considered.
The thing is, Mem. When YOU take the action to move to paradise, you become part of the reason that particular paradise changes. You are part of your own problem - trapped in your own logic.
Scott Ford -
As always, I appreciate your grounded perspective. In your last paragraph you talk about construction related industries being a large (the largest?) % of our personal income in 2007. You go on to state that the crash of that sector didn't kill our economy because we are diversified. Questions:
1. Where is our income now compared to our 2007 peak?
2. What is the current % distribution of that income across industry sectors - ie does Health Care now make up 20% instead of 9% - etc.?
3. Assuming construction related industries don't rebound for a significant period of time, and assuming we don't add any new industry sectors, do you think we will see our personal income increase, decrease or remain the same?
4. Could you share an opinion about whether or not you think additional diversification is economically necessary or desirable to the local economy?
5. If & when the construction related industry bounces back, do you think further diversification would help keep the % for which that industry accounts in check? If not, is there something else that will ensure a more balanced economy? (using source of personal income as the barometer)
I realize you don't have a crystal ball, but you do have educated economic perspective, which I appreciate. Thanks.
I am a HUGE proponent of infill and Smart Growth principles. Come to any of our meetings and you will realize that. Those who know me and fight against me during infill policy discussions are probably laughing at your statement. I did not live here when the WSSAP was being written. I probably would not have supported it.
... Developers aren't all enemies. (don't get me wrong, some of them are horrible people, just like some t-shirt shop owners are horrible people) Developers are tools within a city's arsenal of ways to get things done. But we have to respect what a developers motivation is. It is no different than anyone's true motivation - to earn a living. Perhaps some of them make better livings than some of us. So what. We all chose our paths.
Do we want, say... anywhere USA strip center developments? I don't think so. So we lay out laws and guidelines that say what we want. Zoning codes, UGB lines, Future Land Use maps, Corridor Standards etc. And then a developer comes along and says here's how I can help you meet your goals. And sometimes they are feeding us a line of crap & it doesn't help us meet our goals. And we try to be diligent about catching that. But sometimes, I would even say most times in this town, they aren't feeding us a line of crap. But some people, no matter what, because a developer is, God forbid, making a profit, think that the city is somehow being taken for a ride, and that even though whatever it is being developed is indeed good for the city, the relationship is immediately adversarial and strained on a false pretense & the city ends up getting something less than what it wanted. These are the people who use phrases like "negotiating against". I'm not pegging you Steve. I do believe you care about this community and I believe you have been a good watchdog. I'm just asking you to examine an attitude possibly exhibited with that choice of words. I'm also asking you and others to recognize that just because some representatives understand that developers need to make money in order to develop what the city wants, this does not mean they are on the take or have some sort of personal gain to be made by a decision to approve or deny any given development.
The words you chose.... "negotiating against"... bother me. Negotiating WITH is, imo, the proper phrase. Both sides need to win in a successful negotiation. Both sides have something to gain & respecting that gain is important. I can't speak for anyone else, but as for me, I never considered whether the developers interests were being met or not, except to understand that they would have to be met in order for us to get our goals met. I will grant you this.... I was perfectly willing to allow creativity in meeting requirements in order to achieve goals. I had my sights set on goals and on more than one occasion, I stated in public meetings that I thought the plan set out impossible requirements and let obstacles control vs. stating a goal, and laying out a realistic roadmap to achieving that goal. For example, many small units on many small lots creates more affordability than a few larger houses on a few larger lots. So I voiced a desire for higher density - higher than what the WSSAP limit was. I saw the stated requirement as letting an obstacle - traffic - limit us from achieving the goal. I personally saw that obstacle as something that can be overcome and in terms of priority, I felt it was more important to achieve an attainability goal than to let a problem keep us from reaching the goal.....
Lewi - I just saw your above post re: outing people. I don't mind people staying anonymous for whatever reasons they choose, but I don't like smear campaigns from people not willing to put their name behind their comments. I think slander and personal attacks are foul play and degrade the integrity and validity of this forum. I have never asked the Pilot for anyone's name, nor do I have any information that hasn't been revealed right here on the blog. Robert gave his name in a blog last summer when I crossed the line one sleep deprived annexation review week. He attacked me which I deserved, and willingly gave his name. Loretta included me in an email during the fall political campaign in a smear on the relationship between the Pilot & Cari. You may have been a recipient in that email as well, I don't remember. Anyway, she then immediately posted the same exact letter as a blog under the name pitpoodle, thereby outing her own self to those of us (many in number) who had received that email. At least one other has called greenwash by his name in a previous blog. He had posted something I found offensive, so I remembered his name. Many of his posts are offensive regardless of whether or not he is an asset to the community in his daily life. If it is not Dave, then I suspect Dave will correct that callout, and I will owe him an apology.
Many people post anonymously yet practice civil dialogue even in disagreements. In my opinion, that's acceptable & worthy of respectful privacy.
Scott, Thanks. I meant no personal attack on you or the voters. If it came off that way, I apologize. I think the crux of the problem is that the goals of the plan are impossible to reach with the fiscal neutrality requirement of the plan. When trying to negotiate through that impossible hurdle, there surfaced many reasons why either the goal wasn't being met or the requirements weren't being met. So, there were many reasons to grab hold of and say wait a minute. Additionally, we city folk got so caught up in the details of the "development" that we lost sight of the fact that it was an annexation. That led to confusion.
This process has been obviously very divisive. If I've added to that, it was unintentional. I enjoy being part of community solutions, which is why I volunteer my time. Anyway, let's work on goals and solutions and try to stay positive.
Thanks George for bringing up the real debate behind what I said. I do understand land use law. Annexation gives that property owner the right to develop at the zoning density placed upon it at time of annexation, which is much higher than its current ag zoning. That is good for the property owner: it typically increases the value of his land, which is why any property owner would choose that route. That it was good for the property owner is what rubs many the wrong way, whether or not it was also good for the city.
Urban density is in fact what our growth plans call for on that property. You are correct in that a city in this state gets only one chance to "ask for the moon": at time of annexation. I'm sure you disagree, but in my opinion, just because we can doesn't mean we should ask for "the moon." If the goal for the city is attainable/affordable housing, the question is what should we be requiring in the agreement to meet that goal. An unpopular but true statement: Understanding that a property owner must meet financial goals in order to get that property owner to meet the city's goals is the key to successful negotiations. Are we in control of the property & can we ensure that it meets our goal? No. That's not a scare tactic. It's a statement of fact. That property already is subdivided into 35 acre parcels. Selling or replatting & selling is within his right. Applying for an LPS (ala Maribou) is also within his right.... no rezoning is required. An LPS is 1 per 35 acre density; the county gives a 1 unit per 100 acre incentive if you cluster your units and conserve contiguous land. If they met the application requirements, it would be granted. Are we in control of the annexation process? 50% of it. If you think George that we are in the drivers seat & can do whatever we want & still achieve our goal, then you are the government norm I suppose.
Through your experience, I'm sure you know George that housing costs a city money. It never pays for itself. In some cities - not ours - the property taxes offset the cost of housing. We have a plan that has attainable/affordable housing as it's primary goal. That plan requires that this housing pay for itself - not cost the city anything. We don't even require that of our current (primarily market rate) housing. The goal and the requirement do not sync. In my opinion, we need to adjust one or the other. Going forward, IF the community still thinks it makes sense to target our growth in the West of Steamboat area, fiscal neutrality needs to be revisited & we need to know if the elephant in the room is even willing to come back to the table. Perhaps the community now thinks that growth in the West is no longer desirable for one reason or another. If so, fine... Let's get THAT discussion going.
Last login: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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