Ellen Davis Advises Council Not to Overturn HARC

Testimony to the City Council regarding the appeal of a HARC decision related to the Tamiro Plaza building, 501 S. Austin Ave.

Sept. 22, 2009
By Ellen Davis

Mr. Mayor, Members of the City Council:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight. I just wanted to say that I was at the HARC meeting where this issue came up, and I thought the committee gave the applicants a very fair hearing. It went on for a long time and there were many questions asked. In the end, the vote was 5-1 against the amendment to the sign plan, so it was not even close.

Chris (Damon) just said he thought this was a “small issue” and could not understand why there are so many people here tonight. When I was at that original hearing, I was thinking the same thing. I could not understand why there were three City Council members at that meeting.

The reason there are so many people here tonight is that it would set a very dangerous precedent for the City Council to overturn this vote.

I don’t always agree with the decisions HARC makes, but I think we need to respect the work this board does and not try to second guess them. Some of their decisions may upset the people involved, but the overall result of their work is beneficial to our city. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to watch this video titled “Community of Choices,” which shows how unattractive towns can become with signage gets out of control.

Thank you


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