Sep 3, 2008

Monday Council Hearing on Neighborhood Planning

Yes, the weather's still lovely, and we should be out enjoying it. Nonetheless, it's important for Sally Clark's Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee to hear from us.

The 1996-1998 Neighborhood Planning process resulted in many good ideas, but also helped form lots of lasting relationships between people and organizations who might not otherwise have got together. I felt that it helped us all understand each other a bit better. We (especially the City) were all kind of making it up as we went along. But by the end, we all seemed to be pretty happy with the process and the result.

A decade's gone by, and it's time to re-evaluate where we are (and where we'd like to be). Surely we can benefit from all our experience last time?

You'd think so, but the Mayor seems to want us to do things in his typical top-down, controlled way, while the neighbors I've talked to want to have the free rein that they enjoyed last time round.

Councilmember Clark (who was a "plan steward" in the 1998 plan process) is calling this public meeting to assess how the neighborhoods think planning should be done this time. My views are obvious. Your views are what count. The meeting is at City Hall at 5:30 PM on Monday September 8th.

Notes on testifying (based on past meetings):

  • Typically a sign-up sheet goes out at 5PM. Line up by (say) 4:30 and you'll get to testify fairly early. City Hall is at 600 4th Avenue
  • Evening parking at the SeaPark garage is $5
  • There's free Wi-Fi at City Hall, so you can keep busy!
  • Alternatively, you can watch from home, and nip down and testify towards the end of the proceedings.
  • You can also E-mail the Committee members.
Some background reading:
There's been lots of discussion about the proposed planning process by the City Neighborhood Council, and I think that the Mayor's ideas may have mellowed a bit as a result.

Nonetheless, I feel strongly that it's to our benefit to take the time to tell City Council that the way we did it before worked well: it ain't broke, don't fix it.

(this Thursday's Neighborhood Plan Stewardship meeting would be a good place to discuss these issues: see calendar for details).

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