Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More on Midtown

I finally watched the tape of the January 17th council meeting, which I missed because I was traveling on business, and I have also caught up on what people wrote to me and other councilmembers afterward about the proposed Interim Code for Main and Thompson in Midtown. (The staff report and proposed code can be found at http://www.cityofventura.net/newsmanager/templates/?a=1645&z=43. I don't think the streaming video is up yet.)

As Mayor Morehouse said at the meeting, I was proud of everybody for engaging in such civil dialogue. Many good points were made on all sides. I thought Dave Sargent, our Town Architect, did a great job of presenting facts and articulating his views -- and doing it in a matter-of-fact way without being preachy. I also thought Jack Schaffer, the newly appointed chair of our Historic Preservation Committee, did a good job of using visualizations to show what the impact of new development (of all types, not just three stories) might have on hillside views from certain perspectives in Midtown.

The staff and the consulting planners are now going back and taking a more a surgical approach toward the code, examining in a bit more detail where different heights might be appropriate, along with possible changed standards (such as setbacks) that might help out.

Although some folks, including my good friend Camille Harris, continue tohave strong feelings about anything over two stories in the Interim Code, I saw quite a variety of points of view on the tape and, in fact, the communications we received after the meeting were much less harsh and open-minded about possible solutions than the communications we received before the meeting. Which usually means a well-run meeting.

Stay tuned!

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