The View from Ward 2: Issue #6

Committee of the Whole

The only topic on the agenda at our last Committee of the Whole meeting was deciding on who would be appointed to the vacant Council at-Large seat. After nearly two hours of deliberation, we unanimously recommended the appointment of Sarah Kepple. Ms. Kepple will be sworn in during the Council Meeting on Tuesday, February 18th at 7:30 PM. Thank you to everyone who applied. We were fortunate to have an impressive pool of candidates.

Grant Elementary School Presentation

Last week, I spoke to the Grant Elementary 3rd Graders about local government and the role of councilmembers. The class had great insight and I enjoyed hearing all of their thoughtful, and sometimes funny, questions. I could tell that many of the students had previously attended public meetings when some prefaced their question with, "I have a statement and a question." Thank you to the teachers and administration for inviting me and I look forward to seeing some of those students run for public office one day.

Barry Buick Development

I attended the Architectural Board of Review's meeting on February 13th. This meeting included a presentation from the developers of the Barry Buick site, Solove Real Estate Group. Solove first came before the Board and the Planning Commission in March of 2019 and, since that time, Solove has updated their designs and completed traffic and shade studies, while city staff has performed extensive analysis of zoning, building height, parking property lines and setbacks At last week's meeting, they presented updated plans for the redevelopment of the site.

After significant public comment and refining, the Planning Commission approved the development plans with several conditions in August of 2019. The site will have 160 residential units, 1,500 square feet of retail space, and 202 parking spaces.

There was a constructive discussion between ABR, residents, and Solove on topics such as traffic, landscaping, fencing, and creative use of alley ways. Several residents expressed concerns about increased traffic. Solove explained that the traffic study indicated that this type of land use would have the least impact on traffic. This is because people typically travel to and from their home twice a day, whereas in more retail or food services focused development, people are consistently traveling to and from those businesses.

The Board commented that the design has improved "leaps and bounds" over the past six to eight months. Solove will make some additional changes and return for approval at the March meeting.

You can review the conceptual design plans here.

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