Friday, August 17, 2007

August surprise

Outgoing Councilman Jason Hart

  • decided after the ballot was set to move out of the area and not to run for reelection
  • cleared out his desk and said goodbye to his fellow council members two months ago and
  • has been absent from his duties since that time
yet he has decided that his last official act will be a form of thumb nosing to the neighborhood. Instead of quietly cashing his paychecks and fading into the sunset he's put a zoning bill (BILL NO. BL2006-1114 ) on Tuesday's agenda which has been languishing since last year. The Planning Commission vote unanimously against this change saying the area was planned for residential use and neighbors made clear they were against this change once they learned of it. Unfortunately, that learning wasn't until the after 2nd reading. So now this bill is up for third reading just as the gavel is falling on this council's session and Hart's term. Hart is not returning constituent calls.

14 months ago Hart went before the planning commission to request an odd zoning change for a part of Hart Lane (coincidentally named) from RS-10 to either RS-20 for a 1/2 acre part and CS for a connected 4 acre portion behind. As you can see from the map at the left everything right of the bold line is RS10. This zoning change would encroach on a neighborhood just off Dickerson Road that is working hard to improve. I'm told by Karen Bennett of Capitol View Neighbors (and council candidate to replace CM Hart) that the zoning signs were not seen and so neighbors didn't show up to object at the 2nd reading. I remember getting copies of Bennett's letter to Hart objecting to this zoning change last year in mid-July just after that second reading. Neighbors are certainly ready to appear at Tuesday's council meeting to voice their objections.

This will be the last meeting for this council. I strongly urge the council members to vote against this bill.

UPDATE: You can view the 2nd reading action taken by the council at mms:// Move the slider to 3:32 minutes. This bill runs to 7:11 minutes. The Planning Commission spends a couple of minutes explaining why they voted unanimously against it. CM Jason Hart states “I haven’t received a single negative comment…” (about the property). No one spoke in opposition. No council member raised their hand in objection to this bill. There is no mention of what the property owner intends to do on the property.

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