Land Use issues need reexamination
Last updated 3/26/2009 at Noon
While most of you were out enjoying a little bit of Irish Magic, the City Council narrowly approved Chapter 20, which will limit public access to the City Council on certain land use issues.
My main complaint was there was no transparency for the public. The entire chapter was re-written and Planning Board Member Reed requested that City staff prepare a spreadsheet for the public hearing so that we could identify the current processes to that of the proposed processes.
This information was never made available to the public and this Chapter is large and complex. As citizens, we need to be getting all information that the City Council receives in order for us to provide sufficient comments regarding any issues at public hearings.
City Council Attorney Snyder even recommended a second hearing but that idea fell on deaf ear. Councilmember's Plunkett, Orvis and Bernheim voted against the new rules.
So now if a citizen wants to appeal a Hearing Examiners ruling, the individual will have to spend the money for an attorney to go through the Superior Courts rather than the City Council.
Also, city bureaucrats potentially can now allow developers to waive shoreline environmental regulation, reduce setbacks, or even allow taller buildings and these issues would not be able to be appealed to our elected officials.
These are just a few examples of the many issues that need to be revisited. So, please email or call your City Council members and request a re-evaluation of this ruling and ask for a second hearing.