A Tale of Three Rezones / NorthwestCitizen, Dick Conoboy

Samish zoning map. Applicable until a developer does not like it.

Mon, Jun 29, 2015, 5:00 am   Dick Conoboy

Without horrendous effort on the part of a neighborhood, or even with horrendous effort, neighborhoods are hard-put to fend off unwanted development, some in the form of rezones. The rules of engagement are stacked against a public that plays second fiddle to developers who are aided and abetted by planners, an acquiescent City Council and a stacked Planning Commission.  The mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission, that was statutorily in the planning process, has removed itself (albeit initiated and encouraged by the mayor) from any meaningful role, thereby abrogating its responsiblity as an official voice of the neighborhoods.  The present Type VI process (for rezones and other shenanigans) is the poster child of unfairness. Its approval criteria are vague and subjective, the bar risibly low for developers and unbeatably high for citizens.  Which is why over the past year, three rezones were approved in the Samish Neighborhood, none of which the citizens wanted in the form presented (with the exception of a few households).  Each one represented a divergence from many of the stated goals and interests professed by the city through its own Comprehensive Plan and other planning documents. Yet instead of learning from our mistakes, we continue to piecemeal our rezones and review our stated policies and procedures later. […]

Read the rest of Dick’s article at Northwest Citizen here.

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