By: T.O. Owens
In a close vote the Outline Development plan for the city’s Urban Renewal District at the triangle won approval last night about 11:05.
The proceedings began with somewhat of a shock as the Mayor Frie excused himself from the discussion because of personal interests in the garden.
AURA and their representatives gave a presentation then community members spoke for and against the plan. There was about an hour of testimony both in favor and an hour against. AURA then had a brief rebuttal period.
Once the public comment section was complete there were questions from the council to staff, AURA, and the garden club.
Councilor Cook proposed an amendment to the motion to grant the rezoning that would have removed the Garden area from the rezoning and thereby the outline development plan. That amendment failed on a 3-3 vote.
The councilors then voted on the rezoning and it passed 6-0. The OPD was also passed 6-0 with the provision that a 1 acre parcel be provided without the OPD area or within ¼ mile of the OPD area should a developer choose to build on the current garden location.
This was a long night for everyone in attendance. The councilors had a difficult task at hand and the seemed to truly agonize over the decision.
It is this reporters hope that now that we have the decision behind us we can come together as a community to support both the decision and the future development in the triangle area.
* I should disclose that I spoke in favor of approving the OPD as written. I respect the views held by those opposing it and do truly hope that we can mend any wounds left by the councils decision.