Tuesday February 9

This Tuesday, February 9, at 6 pm in Council Chambers at 7th & Main, city council will hear the second reading of the two requests for rezoning made by the Union on Eighth event center.

The struggle so far has gone badly, with only Rachael Jonrowe fighting this cause on behalf of the neighborhood (and the greater good of Old Town), on her own. Anna Eby of District 1 disappointed everyone by not giving any explanations for her support of the zoning changes.

Since that first reading, some residents have talked with various council members and presented many of the facts and details to them. There is a hope that, upon a further consideration and a better understanding of the complex zoning issues at stake, a second council member may change his or her mind and join Rachael and the residents in keeping the status quo unchanged.

This hope can be bolstered by your action. Please show up at council to support the residents fighting this proposal. I have an unbreakable engagement that will keep me away, but please attend in solidarity with residents and Rachael, to give your 3 minutes to a speaker, or to speak.

Further, please contact your council representative and add your voice in opposing these requests for rezoning. The crux of the matter is that the current zoning was agreed upon almost 3 years ago by all parties in an exhaustive public process, and no cause has been shown to change the status quo.

Although the close neighbors are impacted heavily by the event center – and we have now shown material indications of a loss in their property values – even so they would settle for the status quo, rather than making things even worse.

Approving these requests would make things worse. And a similar danger would then threaten every residential property immediately bordering the downtown project, all around its circumference. I hope to send out a fuller analysis of this in a future email, after we see the results of Tuesday’s reading.

Here is the link to the council agenda for Tuesday: The two items are Item Z and Item AA. There are several items before these. I think it’s possible that they may all move fairly rapidly, but I can’t guess what time our items will appear. We also have the possibility that they’ll be brought to the front of the session. As always, one can only show up at 6 pm and settle in for the wait.

My posts for the first reading are at the OldTowners website (Request 1 and Request 2), and should be useful for a better understanding of the issues. Council members may be contacted by email from their individual bios found on this page at the city website.

I hope to hear that the fight is successful, and if so I wish you the good fortune to have been there!



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