Thank you, Planning Commission, for the time you took to read the letters and to listen to the folks who came out to explain why they felt the overly-bright LED sign would be dangerous. Your 4-1 vote to deny the waiver needed for the sign is much appreciated.
Developers who rely on development guidelines being enforced before they’ll consider developing in an area will take note. We look forward to new ideas that will preserve the walkability and existing fabric of the James Street business district.
When it comes to approaching the Planning Commission about waiver requests, we hear a lot of conflicting messages about the role and power of the residents:
- The PC likes to hear from “just plain folks,” the kind who show up in their paint-spattered work clothes, heavy work boots, medical uniforms and office attire. Let’s call them the “JPF” for short.
- The more of these JPF, the more powerful the message.
- The PC cannot make decisions based on the popularity, or lack thereof, of a waiver request. So actually, numbers of JPF at the meetings can’t count.
- The JPF actually don’t understand all the legalities, so while their interest is much appreciated, it doesn’t stand a chance against a legal technicality.
- How the PC votes on a waiver request is very much affected by what the JPF say.
- If the JPF haven’t come in with new information for the PC to use in figuring out how to vote, or if their information is ill-informed, then the hours they spend at these meetings is all for naught.
The sign being voted on at the Planning Commission meeting tonight (City Hall, 6:00 pm) is not, I repeat, is not the hold-up on the store opening.
Sean Kirst reported on this fact a month ago (Post-Standard, Friday, June 19, 2009 – bolding mine):