Fellow Council Members,
I propose we postpone the Recode vote scheduled next Tuesday. While I feel the actual text of the code is almost ready and I am generally supportive of it, I have serious questions regarding the map, changes made to specific parcels, and how we will handle requests from property owners or neighborhoods who request changes to revert to the rights they had before the Recode process. Specifically I am concerned about the major changes for some parcels of property throughout the city. The revealed changes proposed at Caswell Park underscore my concern, as I never imagined this process could result in open park space being rezoned to another use. This revelation has shaken my confidence in the process.
From the beginning, I hoped the map process would be similar to the annexation process, where property is given the zone in the new code most similar to its existing zone in the current code, in a very objective manner. While I certainly acknowledge many parcels are incorrectly zoned, I never believed Recode was the process to address these problems. I would be in favor of a subsequent process to rezone parcels or neighborhoods based upon Planning’s recommendations. But those should be done on an individual basis with specific notice allowing all voices to be heard.
I plan on making a motion to postpone on Tuesday and turn the day into a workshop where we can discuss these issues as well as concerns you or the public may have. There is no rush to pass this important ordinance, and I think we all agree the most important thing is we get it right. Too be clear, I am not trying to defeat this process as I have long advocated for the need to update the zoning code, and am committed to making it happen as soon as possible. I just want to make sure it is right.
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