Coffee With Council – May 2023
Read along below:
Unknown Speaker 0:00
We’ve had some pretty hard drinks in the past. This one is not as we don’t have as many attendees today as we normally do. But so the council decided to set some rules, just so we can make sure that everybody has a chance to talk during the session. So if you can keep your questions or comments to three to five minutes, Councilmember McCoy will raise a paper when you’re kind of getting to that point in four minutes.
Unknown Speaker 0:27
And then what we want to do is get through everyone who has a question or comment before we go back to someone else who has a secondary question or comment
Unknown Speaker 0:40
councilmembers Take it away, and I’ll be in the back of the working.
Unknown Speaker 0:46
Unknown Speaker 0:50
What I hope we can do with this nice, orderly rows, we can, you know, just go back and forth from the front to the back. So don’t be shy. If you have a question. Raise your hand early. So we know you’re there.
Unknown Speaker 1:05
Thank you for coming out tonight. It was definitely a really
Unknown Speaker 1:11
Unknown Speaker 1:14
Unknown Speaker 1:16
I appreciate you coming out and let us know where you stand on things and what the issue is with you. So that’d be really do I’m gonna go ahead and end this up to
Unknown Speaker 1:27
Unknown Speaker 1:38
Unknown Speaker 1:40
Unknown Speaker 1:43
Unknown Speaker 1:45
we’ll go ahead and stand up and we’ll turn off the power.
Unknown Speaker 1:51
Unknown Speaker 1:54
Well, hello, everybody, my name is Jacqueline Ross and I lived in Longmont for 57 years. Starting up, I’m going to say no to things. But if I’m a longtime resident, we might say, and I just wanted to make everyone including our Prime members here, aware that there is a a weightlifting, or weightlifting facility on North Main 1610. North Main is in the parking lot of the old big five sporting goods store. And the reason I’ve chosen this venue to sort of raise a little bit of awareness is that
Unknown Speaker 2:30
there’s an individual who has just made extraordinary effort to stand this thing up. Business community has donated over $10,000 worth of equipment. And so the first thing I wanted to do is invite anyone and everyone who is interested to just stop by and visit the place, the daily hours are 7:30am to 11. And then 330 until seven. And the other reason that I think this venue is very appropriate is that I am a I’m a business consultant, I have a fair amount of financial acumen that’s been my profession. And so I’m helping this gentleman who has stood this up, his name is King Penny. And I’m helping him with some of the
Unknown Speaker 3:15
concerns that are more of the long term concerns of one of the money flows, because he’s not charging anybody. You’re not charging anybody for his time. He wants this to be a free thing for people to experience working out outdoors. And so that’s my role in this is his helper in this way. And so what I had told him and he agrees is that the long term destination that he aspires and I joining this aspiration for this location is to be on city property somewhere because he’s paying a substantial amount of rent right now without income. He’s also paying insurance. And these are, you know, necessities to keep the same operating, and so forth to be sustainable. What we want to do over time is make the case to the city of Longmont. Hey, this is a valuable thing. Lots of people are appreciating it. And toward that end, I can tell you that we have about 15 to 25 visitors every day that are coming. And that number is growing has grown very quickly. And it’s only been open for about seven weeks now. And
Unknown Speaker 4:24
I have a little presentation not to give today. But I’ve been I’ve been working on a presentation to submit to the city council. And one of the things that was on it was a week ago I had 100 content followers on Facebook, and now it has 183 Just to give you an idea of the groundswell of support.
Unknown Speaker 4:40
The second thing I want to make clear about this is that, you know, anytime you create a public good there’s a concern about how does it affect the community, the private landowners and the residents in the area. And I’m delighted to tell you that this has been
Unknown Speaker 4:56
extremely well received. The local residents not only are coming
Unknown Speaker 5:00
And they’re volunteering their time, because they view this as a really a positive thing in their neighborhood. It’s not noisy. But it is very interesting. And
Unknown Speaker 5:11
people who haven’t worked out are working out outside, and they’re discovering that as another important element of fitness. And so
Unknown Speaker 5:21
for the city of Longmont, this is not what I would call a big deal.
Unknown Speaker 5:27
I reviewed the open form video from January and I noticed that council is dealing with some very big deals, fordable, housing,
Unknown Speaker 5:37
Unknown Speaker 5:39
childcare, all kinds of big issues. The reason that this particular issue is so attractive, you know, to me as a financial person who thinks about return on investment, is the heavy lifting pardon upon I can’t resist that heavy lifting has been done by this gentleman in King County, the equipment’s in place and the businesses that have contributed have done the heavy lifting. And at some point in the future, we don’t have a good idea of when
Unknown Speaker 6:06
there’ll be an appropriate time for the, for the city to very seriously consider this thing as something that is a low risk item that costs the city not very much nothing to take it over and, you know, relatively very low operating costs on an existing recreational property.
Unknown Speaker 6:25
And it’s a very unique thing. There are only about four cities, we’ve been able to locate that have done this in the United States. And they’ve done it very successfully. And so this is my hope that that this will be adopted. And I’m available now take questions or afterward if anybody wants to ask me more details on the question. Oh, yes.
Unknown Speaker 6:46
I wonder whether King has since he will say he’s, he’s paying liability insurance. Now, let’s start off. And since he does have other public venues for this, maybe his presentation can include the differential that a private business pays and liability versus a municipality with be forced to pay liability. Thank you for that question. That is a question that I am endeavoring to get answered in the documentation that council we can expect to receive. We’re going to try to get it a week in advance so that people who would be interested in my members who would be interested to review it will be able to have time.
Unknown Speaker 7:26
Okay, thank you very much.
Unknown Speaker 7:29
Unknown Speaker 7:31
we, a couple of you came in after we announced the rules, yet five minutes.
Unknown Speaker 7:39
You’re welcome to take less than that if you just want to ask a question. And we’re going to try to go front to back.
Unknown Speaker 7:47
Since we have a nice orderly organization here, and that way, we’ll make sure that everybody gets a chance to speak. And then after that, if you have a follow up question, she’s going to speak again. So yes, we just want one other thing. And that is just your name so that we can write down to see who we’re talking to. And your address here for the moment.
Unknown Speaker 8:13
Question? Yes, sir. My name is Clay Richmond, we didn’t
Unknown Speaker 8:19
see, so we
Unknown Speaker 8:22
after the incident that you witnessed with like stealing, we decided that we weren’t going to give out the mic. So I will repeat the question. And all right, I want to say as an applicant for the best that that is unacceptable, because I have here 90% of what is said even if you received it, even if you repeat the question, and so I will be addressing this further. It’s not acceptable. Let’s slow down, slow down. Slow roll on this. What do we what is our position? Our city manager about ADA? accommodated?
Unknown Speaker 8:56
We’re sorry, we’re repeating the questions.
Unknown Speaker 9:00
I think she’s getting it the people that might be experience.
Unknown Speaker 9:07
Yeah, I am willing for my part, to give up the mic.
Unknown Speaker 9:12
As long as everybody understands that when your five minutes are up, so is your time holding the mic. And
Unknown Speaker 9:20
I’m serious this happened.
Unknown Speaker 9:23
So yeah, a lot for my
Unknown Speaker 9:31
My name is My name
Unknown Speaker 9:34
is Clay Richmond. Just want to commend the city for this is a change of subject right away. I called in probably about six months ago over a little section of sidewalk, concrete sidewalk. That wasn’t complete. And the city did that.
Unknown Speaker 9:50
Gosh, I think it was early April, when we had some non freezing weather looks really good. So 100 feet or 100
Unknown Speaker 10:00
and feed a four foot wide sidewalk. So I like to commend the city for doing that. And that’s all I have for right now. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 10:08
Thank you. It’s really nice to hear good feedback like that. I’ll have to say they did a great job on my sidewalk
Unknown Speaker 10:24
Marsha, we can pass this around
Unknown Speaker 10:33
everybody could get if you just want to pass it. And then everybody who has a question can can speak when the light comes by them, and where I can just stay. Okay
Unknown Speaker 10:49
so my name is Anna Rivas and I live in a port 501.
Unknown Speaker 10:55
And I wanted to ask about, but it’s kind of the opposite about what Jeff was talking about the rec center that’s being proposed for the Dry Creek area, which is the opposite, it’s going to be a very big noisy facility, that’s actually going to destroy the outdoor area that people really are enjoying right now. And I’ve been talking to quite a few of the neighbors that I can encounter as I’m there, and they really enjoy going for their walks there. And just being out there, you know, somebody refer to it like as a sanctuary. So it would be the total opposite to have this huge facility in the parking lot being built there. That reduces access, in many cases, to the neighbors, because now you have to actually pay that actually go into the facility and use important words. Now, kids, you know, all the neighbors, anybody can just walk there, go for a walk, walk their dogs ride their bikes just enjoy nature for totally free.
Unknown Speaker 11:54
And also, I was just reading an article that had to do with policies that a lot of cities have regarding the new buildings, one place got the minimum parking requirements. So all the area of the land that’s actually used to build parking spots. And that is kind of a mid ambition than a 90,000 square foot correct building would require a lot of parking spots. So now you’re paving over a lot of that beautiful area that people really enjoy walking in, and creating that kind of parking. That’s kind of a really, in that neighborhood, it would be necessary, because there’s no, I mean, that it’s kind of surrounded by housing and neighborhoods, people don’t want people in cars are clogging up all the their driveways in areas. And it’s just seems counter to what we need to be doing. Now. We’re just trying to preserve some of the land and cut down on cars. And by building a bigger parking areas for bigger buildings, you’re kind of just creating more reasons for people to have to drive more hours. You can’t. And I was just reading an article about that it kind of coincided with what I was thinking about. So I could send you the article. But it’s cities are trying to cut down on the policy, or change the policies that require minimum parking areas because they’re realizing that’s only making the traffic problem worse, because you’re creating, you’re kind of creating distances between all these areas, and those people are forced to drive or to get to places instead of just being able to walk to them.
Unknown Speaker 13:32
Unknown Speaker 13:34
I’m going to ask
Unknown Speaker 13:36
Ms. Marsh a question, because I don’t have the facts at hand.
Unknown Speaker 13:43
Strangely enough, both Rexha the venue’s the existing one and the Dry Creek Park venue are in my ward. And I live exactly precisely across the street from the existing rec center venue. And well, its parking lot is full almost all the time.
Unknown Speaker 14:08
It certainly I wouldn’t say that it’s clogged up and I know for a fact that it’s not noisy.
Unknown Speaker 14:15
So I I’m not sure what the concern is that rec center venue has
Unknown Speaker 14:23
relatively little park area around it, whereas I understand that that this one has designated Park area around it. So what I would like to ask, Joanie is, first of all,
Unknown Speaker 14:42
what minima are, are being
Unknown Speaker 14:47
planned or being applied to the park and venue and what’s the comparative size of the old rec center and the planned rec center if you know I know that’s kind of putting you on the spot
Unknown Speaker 15:00
Um, I would like to commend the questioner on her understanding of the pressures of new urbanism. And want to say that that Longmont has also begun the process of eliminating parking minimums, and, in fact, are moving in certain quarters toward
Unknown Speaker 15:23
Unknown Speaker 15:27
Thanks, Marcia. Good morning, everybody. I’m doing the city manager’s office. So we we have adopted parking maximums already in the city. So we don’t have any minimum requirements. When the original Rec Center was built, it certainly did. I would say, we have to get more complaints that it’s under parked, certainly not overpriced. So there won’t be minimum requirements, just like there aren’t in any commercial area in the city anymore. And so that’s been in place for I think, three years. It’s been a while for commercial.
Unknown Speaker 15:58
And then the current rec center, the number of escapes the Martian, I want to say like 45,000 square feet. And I think the new one and again, the new one isn’t designed to keep this in mind. This is all conceptual at this point. It’s also conceptual on the master planet, drag Creek Park. So I think that including a library would be around the 65,000 square foot marker is kind of in the ballpark right now.
Unknown Speaker 16:25
Was there something else I missed?
Unknown Speaker 16:28
No, I think so. The the toolbar comparable in size. It’s not. It’s not. It might be 50% figure, but it’s not huge with respect to the existing center. Yeah, I think they were looking for the same type of amenities in the other rec center that we currently have with some addition of, you know, pool space, similar to what we have, Senator. So. But again, that’s, that’s not designed.
Unknown Speaker 16:57
No approval from voters to move forward with that rec center. So there’ll be more to come
Unknown Speaker 17:04
on specifics. Yes. So I would like to remind everybody that this is going to be a ballot question. So we will, you know, have the option of of voting no. And another another piece of information that’s kind of not quite accurate, that’s been going around is that this is coming out of designated open space, it is not that city property has always been designated to be a park.
Unknown Speaker 17:31
And so it just validated that what we’re hearing is your biggest concern in regards to, you know, that called Paradise and put up a parking lot of attitude that you see here where we have these snacks, we kind of want to make sure that we we don’t
Unknown Speaker 17:51
create problems for drainage and everything, which is obviously our city’s
Unknown Speaker 17:55
planning department school to make sure that we don’t buddy waste homework that we also want to take away, you know, this feeling of being a part, either. So is that what you’re selling? I’m hearing from you. Yeah, I mean, I feel like it’s, from my perspective, just seeing all the open areas, whether they’re actually designated an open space, or just plain undeveloped areas, just seeing all that vanishing and being replaced by buildings and parking lots, it kind of starts feeling a bit claustrophobic. And it’s nice having some just plain open areas that you don’t need. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just having something that’s open, where you can just kind of go and get a little bit break from all the buildings and parking lots everywhere. And the other thing is, with all the parking lots, when you look around and see all the empty parking lots, I know there’s some financial stuff that has would need to be worked out. But it just seems like there’s
Unknown Speaker 18:55
there’s areas that have already been developed, that could ease that could be used to house things like affordable housing or a rec center, rather than going out and destroying a area that still kind of in a natural state, which a lot of people enjoy. And you know, yeah, there are. A lot of people there are kind of horrified when they realized that it’s actually not designated open space. Because for them, that’s one of the things they like about the neighborhood is happening. So well. I should add that most of the most of the land to the west of you is designated open space, so you’re not necessarily going to lose a lot of that field. And that
Unknown Speaker 19:42
again, was Marsh can can confirm this, but but Walmart’s overriding development bends right now is toward more infill, more density in the city core. And so I
Unknown Speaker 20:00
I’m not sure how serious your fear you’re going to be especially since even with the building in place that designated areas still has a lot of park land around it it’s not going to be you know, some sprawling complex that fills up the whole space that is available. So, but reminding everybody this is a valid question you can vote on whether you think this is what the city needs or not. Thank you. And thank you for being informed Scott. Hi, everybody my name is Scott sir two to nine Grand Street
Unknown Speaker 20:39
forgive me if I’m not up to speed on the latest and greatest with the parking requirements or regulations or what have you.
Unknown Speaker 20:47
But you know, I’ve lived here for 20 plus years and what happened was
Unknown Speaker 20:54
as homeowners it’s difficult for us sometimes to keep up with what changes are happening so please forgive us we all know the latest and greatest most of us are at a job trying to pay the mortgage and enjoy your weekends.
Unknown Speaker 21:09
If as a homeowner I want to meet you and I believe it’s still part of the conversation that I need to provide off street parking for my ad unit.
Unknown Speaker 21:19
Unknown Speaker 21:21
accommodate for that increased number of people within my property.
Unknown Speaker 21:28
If I read the city code and I get my information from the city code and use the updated please updated
Unknown Speaker 21:34
the parking in front of my primary residence the intent of that parking is for
Unknown Speaker 21:42
the dwelling unit for for that forming unit. It’s not common parking or what have you.
Unknown Speaker 21:52
Parking is obviously a big issue online and the reason is is the the west side tower.
Unknown Speaker 22:02
The west side have reduced operators Richards on third. They had five parking spaces at the tavern.
Unknown Speaker 22:09
Since the tavern has gone in,
Unknown Speaker 22:12
parking has been reduced, they’re down to three and they do a valet service. They’re also occupying the home, the residential home adjacent to to continue parking on the residential zone. I understand the West Side tavern has a an exemption because this was an existing building. It was a supermarket for grocery first unless I Tavern and it has the exemption. The the issue is the exemption used to restrict the number of seats the number of people at the restaurant.
Unknown Speaker 22:50
This was done for Richard and Eva who legally was either was part of the planning and zoning. She’s communicated that Richard would have challenges because the building was already under Park if you wanted to expand.
Unknown Speaker 23:08
Yet the current owner of this has been as I counted 50 Richards used to have maybe 12 And now they’re seating for up to 50 According to the drawing, what have you.
Unknown Speaker 23:23
It’s just It’s difficult. They live around the corner, they open up at four so employees are parked in front of our headphones at four o’clock. Get home until after five. So what I’ve parked in front of my home for 20 years,
Unknown Speaker 23:38
is now occupied by somebody that’s not going to leave till after 10 o’clock in the evening because they weren’t going to tackle
Unknown Speaker 23:46
this is still a residential zone area is not a commercial zone area. The entire neighborhood is residential zones. Third Avenue is now being planned to accommodate additional parking for the town. I get it. We need parking for that. But if we’re talking about are we going to be working more than we’re trying to get bike lanes and everything Third Avenue was appropriate for it likely. We’re not even considering it because we try we’re trying to do this for the tablet. And then we’re going to Sox 50 yards each other and Third Avenue because the tavern because this gentleman has the ability to yell and scream and rally these people that he serves drinks to in order to petition for this stuff.
Unknown Speaker 24:31
It’s a neighborhood
Unknown Speaker 24:37
Unknown Speaker 24:39
I’ll give you an example Marsh I know how close you live to the Rec Center. If they pulled the parking lot from the Rec Center and only like five cars there. How do you think that would affect your neighborhood? It would affect it pretty pretty severely.
Unknown Speaker 24:54
I think I’m done for now. But I really just don’t understand what’s being applied.
Unknown Speaker 25:00
As far as the code because the guidelines are there, we’re just we just don’t seem to be implementing. Thank you. So, yeah, I’m gonna get a start with, with some
Unknown Speaker 25:16
correcting some misunderstandings, the curbside parking in front of your house does not belong to you.
Unknown Speaker 25:23
Okay. Well, you said you said it was early, I said the intent of it is for them is for the joints in the code.
Unknown Speaker 25:31
It’s written in the code. I really like to
Unknown Speaker 25:37
see that because it’s been, you know, what was what I was training to believe is that is that all curbside parking is open to anyone who parks legally. Sure, you know, and Joey’s over there nodding yes, it is.
Unknown Speaker 25:53
It’s true. So I’m not sure where where you’re coming from on that one.
Unknown Speaker 26:00
Unknown Speaker 26:03
you know, if, if the expansion of of the number of seats at the West Side tavern, if he’s seeing more people in here than he should be, then he’s not. What I’m saying is that the planning and zoning has approved for 50 seats within the town he’d never had that is not historically, for that property. What was was Richards or please show me where Richard had the ability to see 50 people, please. Okay, I’m going to have to defer to Joanie on on the code. But I think Shawn also indicated that he had some remarks. Yeah. And I hear what you’re saying in regards to when you,
Unknown Speaker 26:51
you do your landscaping, you mow your lawn, you clean your at clean the snow off the the sidewalks in front of your house, and everything like that, and that and the
Unknown Speaker 27:04
even if it’s not really the code, probably everybody in this room would come to the conclusion that we’d all say, well, that’s, that’s my friend.
Unknown Speaker 27:13
From spot parking, even if it’s not necessarily
Unknown Speaker 27:19
written in the code. I mean, there’s, there’s a perception. I am not claiming it is please don’t say, No, I’m not trying to, I’m saying, but actually, I’m trying to support where you’re saying in the sense that, that that is the general perceived idea whether it be fact for perception. And so
Unknown Speaker 27:40
I know how difficult it is when you have a business like this coming in. And
Unknown Speaker 27:46
having so many cars there, whether it be employee cars, and or
Unknown Speaker 27:53
customer cars in that area, you still want but there’s still that general idea that you would continue to do what you’ve done for 20 years. And now it’s kind of changed on you in the sense that you know, they’ve got some of those things. I don’t disagree with what you’re saying. And I did have a little bit of time left so
Unknown Speaker 28:16
they call them up so provide additional off street parking area, adequate to accommodate all needs created by the former occupant without changing the residential character of the premises.
Unknown Speaker 28:29
The Tavern is a residential dwelling with a grandfather clause that allows it to operate as a business.
Unknown Speaker 28:41
It needs to provide additional off street parking.
Unknown Speaker 28:48
Not remove it. Let’s do the removal of parking off street street parking
Unknown Speaker 28:56
that on cross off on premise parking off street that was allowed to the website tavern happened at the beginning of the pandemic when we were making all kinds of variants that ASIC it did not start way before that. Well, it may have but it was permitted at that time.
Unknown Speaker 29:18
With no notification to the surrounding neighbors within the radius that should receive a notification.
Unknown Speaker 29:24
So I’m going to defer on those matters of process to Joanie, but
Unknown Speaker 29:33
the neighbor who does have the ability to you know report accesses and I think he should have to have to have to put his his on premises parking back, he has
Unknown Speaker 29:48
to actually done what I suggested to him which was unwelcome suggestion at the time, which is rent property from parking area filled neighbors and offer valet parking. Can
Unknown Speaker 30:00
constructive solution. So go ahead, jump in, I’m gonna I could talk all day. So I’m certainly not prepared with specific details about what’s been approved or not approved at what’s been a legal non conforming use for as long as I’ve lived in long been, which, as Scott said, used to be Richard, very different than I think, the transition to current
Unknown Speaker 30:23
restaurant that seems to be super popular.
Unknown Speaker 30:28
So I don’t have the facts and details to provide the ins and outs of that, I will say that any changes for legal non conforming use have to go back to the Planning and Zoning Commission. And so if that has happened, and there have been additional
Unknown Speaker 30:44
entitlements granted to Richard, so they’re certainly on file and have been approved. If they haven’t, then there’s certainly a process by which
Unknown Speaker 30:54
the owner would need to go through to do that.
Unknown Speaker 30:58
And I’m happy to follow up with Glenn and his team to provide some of them.
Unknown Speaker 31:05
Okay, thank you for sharing your time. Yeah, I agree with Scott for what it’s worth that probably a review of, of, it’s a great restaurant, I have no problem with that. But now I do all the other steps like they’re
Unknown Speaker 31:22
out there, why?
Unknown Speaker 31:25
Because of the way he has behaved with respect to city government is a personal, you know, I’m just not going to eat there.
Unknown Speaker 31:34
But I agree with Scott that a review of of that establishments, current use is
Unknown Speaker 31:45
appropriate. I’ve had letters from rep were residents and pass them on as is my basic job. I’m just a conduit to,
Unknown Speaker 32:00
to, to code enforcement and to engineering, to
Unknown Speaker 32:07
Unknown Speaker 32:09
make sure that that the complaints have been registered, and have never had the loop closed in this particular case.
Unknown Speaker 32:18
Unknown Speaker 32:21
fun conversation to the time, please.
Unknown Speaker 32:27
So I agree that that should be done, Scott, thank you. But I, all the people who live in a neighborhood that list design for one carriage,
Unknown Speaker 32:38
maybe should reconsider their three vehicle ownership, too.
Unknown Speaker 32:44
Okay, next question. Are you going to recode requires us to add parking. If we added accessory dwelling, we’re required in one end. And we’re you’re being told we have too many cars in the other. I wrote a bicycle. Who else did? Actually a lot of people walked by this principle. Okay, but your time is up when we come around, and Scott, and you Okay, next. Hi. My name is Sarah visit, and I live in the Eastside neighborhood. I served on city council for eight years between 2015. So I know a bit about I certainly was an employee for four years. So I have a couple of requests of city council. Number one.
Unknown Speaker 33:25
There are so many taxation ballot initiatives that you guys seem to be putting on.
Unknown Speaker 33:33
I think there’s going to be a big risk that people going to make any changes and things are going to fail. Besides that one city counts once a counselor are going to put on there’s also a special taxing district similar to RGB or SCFD. That would be a service district to provide services for early childhood education, which is an issue I worked on the whole time was on city council. So I’m in supportive of it. I’m just not in support of at this time, and additional taxation when the state is still trying to figure out the mechanics of those extra 10 hours that they’re paying for, for preschool. And then
Unknown Speaker 34:16
I just think that I have many neighbors that are retired, and my neighbors are going to have they have invested in their home, they’re not ready to go to assisted living. They don’t have the resources to transition into that kind of facility.
Unknown Speaker 34:30
They’re best staying at home and these increases in property tax will force them to leave their homes in a time period when they it’s better for them overall, you know, to be at home, in their environment. So I ask that any additional ballot measures for taxation that you asked to be petitioned on the ballot.
Unknown Speaker 34:54
I know that you gave the nod to the arts and entertainment center. I think that should have been petition because
Unknown Speaker 35:00
has a trigger mechanism, they raised a certain amount of money and then we get debt five years later. I think most people forget about it. A couple other things. I’m also very concerned about the provisions of the ballot proposal 123 for affordable housing that was passed statewide.
Unknown Speaker 35:20
It the ballot that I encourage people to read the golden goblin good game, and if we accept money, it forces us to change our comprehensive plan. And it also diminishes the amount of time that anyone could speak on a quiet quasi judicial matter of that piece of housing. So what will happen is, we will have to change the force to change our processes for public input.
Unknown Speaker 35:51
The money that you get from the state would pay for staff to rewrite the comprehensive plan to rewrite the public input part for anything that’s affordable housing. But again, then you’re creating a more confusing system for somebody that’s doing for profit housing, somebody that’s doing something for nonprofit housing, how much more is that going to cause controversy in the community? And my last
Unknown Speaker 36:18
comments are really around the First Amendment. And I’ll just take a minute and read the first amendment the process here. The First Amendment of the US Constitution states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. The
Unknown Speaker 36:51
this provision has a long history. In 1837 and 38, there were 130,000 petitions to Congress asking for the abolition of slavery.
Unknown Speaker 37:03
And under pressure from the southern states, they prohibited people that from exercising their free speech, right, they prohibited them for introducing resolutions or conditions of government that was overturned in 1844.
Unknown Speaker 37:20
I think that the City Council continues on the path that planning and zoning acted on, you’re going to have a very big lawsuit of First Amendment rights. I think you are trampling on our First Amendment rights. And we are peacefully speaking as a person who filed to appeals from Planning and Zoning City Council. One one what last one.
Unknown Speaker 37:48
I really knew the process. If you’re going to go back to the system, if you’re going to go to a new system, where anything that might be ahead might be in front and application that might be on file since 2017, in fine form initially was, how are people supposed to talk? How are you supposed to guess? If you come to planning and zoning and the city council and say there’s an over parcel that hasn’t been annexed into the city near my neighborhood?
Unknown Speaker 38:19
There, they’re gonna say you there’s no development application, they happen to get a request for time. I’m sorry, I was. So what are you supposed to do? It’s irrelevant. Your speech is irrelevant at that point. Thank you, sir.
Unknown Speaker 38:35
So would you like to dress?
Unknown Speaker 38:39
Well, no, if you can go ahead, I myself, I’m still trying to understand that completely and, and want to make sure that we’re not getting yourself sideways with community members, or with the law in regards to that sort of situation, we certainly don’t want to jump on anybody’s first amendment rights. And I think that
Unknown Speaker 39:02
we should be able to have conversations, council members and commission members and others, hearing people out and understanding that people are just trying to understand the system and understand that, how it functions, how it works, and, and when, when we’re asked certain things I know, Sarah, did us ask her things. She said, Well, you know, I would probably go about doing it this way, you know, talking to people and finding out you know, what the and looking into the ordinances and looking into our, our municipal
Unknown Speaker 39:40
rules about around this type of thing. And guiding people that way is not is there’s nothing wrong with that. I think that’s, you know, some of our responsibilities here as council members. I think we’re gonna have to kind of fill this one out, because I certainly don’t want to have us innocent.
Unknown Speaker 40:00
situation where we’re not respecting our citizens, right to communicate and talk to people and try to figure this whole complex issue out, you know, in other communities throughout the United States, people in our position here are experts in the field, we have a different sort of city council makeup. And it’s primarily done in the West here, where we have experts hired like Jodie Marsh and others to be those folks. And so the only employees that the city council employs is the is the city manager, the city attorney, and the city judge. And so
Unknown Speaker 40:45
the city manager and the city attorney go about hiring their their staffs appropriately for managing that type of anyway, anything that is going on out there. But in other parts of the country, you’d be the expert. Up here, you’d be the water experiment, you’d be the electric, grid expert, or whatever that are the, you know, collection of trash and compost and recycling expert. But that’s not how we do it here. So as we try to maneuver through this, I don’t claim to be the expert is what I’m saying here to you all. I’m just trying to understand as well as I can. And I’m going to be depending on our experts, whether it be our legal counsel, eg mate, or city manager, guiding us through this tonight, and I hope people hear me on that. But you know, we’re just as vulnerable in ways of not knowing exactly what to do. Exactly. Correct. So we’re going to be happy to fill this out so that we’re respectful of everybody’s interest.
Unknown Speaker 41:48
I also acknowledge that the First Amendment says that we’re allowed to address government but it doesn’t also mean that you’re required to listen, I understand that.
Unknown Speaker 41:57
No, I’m serious. No, no, listen to it. You know, we sir, I always think I know everything. So
Unknown Speaker 42:06
I happened to be in the, in the city manager’s office when the city manager city attorney showed up to discuss adding the amendment to the council rules of procedure rules of procedure that you are talking about, that had already been added by the Planning and Zoning Board. And now that will be considered next Tuesday by counsel to limit
Unknown Speaker 42:29
communications on a specific
Unknown Speaker 42:33
matter of of permitting, to the public hearing on that
Unknown Speaker 42:42
Unknown Speaker 42:45
the limb that he explained to me and then subsequently in a communication to council that probably has only come out like yesterday, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 42:55
Is that the prescript pre scription pro script proscription against ex parte communications,
Unknown Speaker 43:07
Unknown Speaker 43:09
on a particular matter of permitting, is prohibited because both the Planning and Zoning Board Commission and the city council are at that time only in in their specific role as a quasi judicial body ruling on a matter of code, which is not the typical function of council at all. We are a policymaking body. So when one of those things comes up, somebody else who is an expert finds the relevant statutes and reviews them with us. And then the Planning and Zoning Board provides us with their opinion, and we have very limited latitude for the kind of decisions that we can make. Similarly, although the Planning and Zoning Board is an advisory body when it comes to big matters of City Planning, when they are ruling on a specific permit, they have the limited role of comparing that
Unknown Speaker 44:16
you know, the application to existing codes and statutes. And so an ex parte communication means that somebody is lobbying or communicating with one of the stakeholders in the party, but not all of the stakeholders in the party together. And the rule is on those public hearings is that all of the evidence outside the codes has to be considered in that one single public hearing. So So everything in the file is considered communication. And as Commissioner Amy Saunders pointed out on Wednesday night as a dissenting voter, she said the minutes of these meetings
Unknown Speaker 45:00
Are all anytime you speak about anything that’s a project, the references to that and go into that file. And if you’d like to go around with that the structure, we’re going to have another time around Sarah. That’s okay. But we wish it was her constitutional lawyer. So I will point that out because she was the dissenting vote however. And, you know, I have to go by not the decision of a constitutional lawyer, but the decision of the city attorney’s office. So that’s the instructions that we have been given, it seems reasonable to me.
Unknown Speaker 45:39
And is that my five minutes being shot?
Unknown Speaker 45:45
We’ll see yes.
Unknown Speaker 45:50
So I have to wrap up by like saying that everybody gets a chance to speak on that. And the opportunity, you know, there’s no limit on the number of people who can speak at an official public hearing. So the same thing that was being done it off agenda, in the class Planning and Zoning meeting could actually be done in the public hearing, you could have a 12 minute presentation with three speakers, and it would be fine. So everybody gets a chance to speak.
Unknown Speaker 46:24
And that’s what I when people asked me, that’s the sort of thing I would have said that you can come in and talk, maybe not directly at the meetings ahead of time to the Transportation Board, which obviously is going to have an impact on this, you talk to the one in Zoning Commission, that’s going to have an impact on it about how, you know, we don’t have these board meetings that these boards set up, just so that
Unknown Speaker 46:49
they can just rubber stamp all decisions and all planning, you know, parcels that are coming into the city, if people feel that they really don’t meet the criteria, or they don’t think that it’s going to it’s going to negatively affect the neighborhood. They’ve they can they can vote in behalf of that same group of neighbors know that at the time that the hearing is happening, there’s very little capacity for a city council or any hearing officer to take in new information. Right. That’s what I’m saying. So what I’m thinking is, you should if you’re if you’re saying that this one meeting is the meeting, you know, that you could appear in person and make an argument, if it’s a new argument that you glean as a citizen, or once in a while, it’s too late. That’s the night of the decision. And we’ve said this many times to neighborhoods, when we make decisions, you are too late. We haven’t seen this, we can’t this is the night to make the decision. So maybe what you need to do is change the process and take the information and then make a decision at another meeting. So that that new information can be digested. Okay, when I feel the Walmart on the east side of town, I discovered that they were the largest polluter in construction of the Clean Water Act, there was a federal court decision in the state of Delaware, prohibiting them. And yet, when I discovered that information and submitted it that night, it was completely
Unknown Speaker 48:22
Unknown Speaker 48:26
Because it’s probably because to your point, that was new information and people needed to digest it. But that was the only under the lease rules. That was the only night that I could actually submit that
Unknown Speaker 48:40
to the council in that public forum.
Unknown Speaker 48:44
So we, let’s move on to another one, folks. So we get through everybody. And then we can come back as a back end to the one the issues that are most pressing today. Okay, second word for everybody.
Unknown Speaker 48:59
We want to be respectful. So go ahead and pull the negative on spruce Avenue.
Unknown Speaker 49:07
Following up a little bit of Windsor, it said
Unknown Speaker 49:10
we’re the group we’re part of on farm neighborhood where the group that’s been sticking up and apparently is perhaps the impetus for some of these changes that have recently taken place.
Unknown Speaker 49:22
The reason that we have tried to get in front of planning and zoning multiple times is because this issue is very complex. There’s a lot of a lot of C code that depending on depending on how its interpreted could lead a commission member, city council member to either a
Unknown Speaker 49:47
fully endorse the developer’s proposal, or be if they they look at the way we’ve been looking at it could really call into question as to why even RNN zoning is an example
Unknown Speaker 50:00
With se version bound part, why are the zoning even been applied in the area? There are no collector or children’s streets. They’re all local streets. There’s no mass transit there. And so what we’re trying to do is
Unknown Speaker 50:15
educate on a very complex topic that has a lot of code that could potentially apply one way or another. We’re just trying to
Unknown Speaker 50:26
educate people as much as possible that we see grave flaws in the developers who fulfil, at that particular piece of robbery.
Unknown Speaker 50:37
It sometimes gets misconstrued that we’re against development,
Unknown Speaker 50:41
some areas and whatnot, they’re probably they don’t want to see it. Now. They’d rather see nothing go in in these around here, maybe something. We’re like, no, we want high density going there. But we want it to be compatible with the neighborhood. Right? We wanted to have adequate parking, so that we don’t run into situations like I know, Scott has gotten my neighbor, once if you constantly, we want to have it where there is a canyon of that so that people in one story homes are looking at, you know, three and a half storey homes because they were hooked up already yet. We want to see green spaces in development so that when children come down from their townhomes, they can actually play on the grounds. And we’re just trying to educate people. And again, to stress what Sarah said, we’re really afraid that if we get one shot one night, for five minutes or three minutes per person, that by that time, it’s too late.
Unknown Speaker 51:38
Something has to change, you’re to a lot of community, because he’s infill developments. They’re not the same as these developments on the outskirts of the city. These infill developments in the bill and your neighborhood, their homes a little over 100 120 years old. It’s it’s an existing neighborhood with a lot of character and a lot of history. And we’re just scared to death at these some of these projects that are planning to go in there, but the developers who’s always mid stakes developers and classic communication are the same, right? The neighborhood, not so much. So that’s that’s the reason we’re trying to do this. We’re not trying to subvert we’re not trying to win, I tried to
Unknown Speaker 52:21
do anything other than just make people aware that we have grave concerns and we’re trying to educate
Unknown Speaker 52:33
Chile, I would like to say first of all, that residents have welcomed to speak on matters of policy and to address the Council for policy changes and also for
Unknown Speaker 52:50
to give input to planning on a general level at any time. And we welcome doing that. I would also like to say since I was on council, when the the cohousing
Unknown Speaker 53:06
project was was before us was the at that time, we heard a lot of this of arguments from the bond Farm Neighborhood. That said that development which has approximately half the number of units that the current proposal has was to dance that would create too much traffic through through the neighborhood. So maybe what the neighborhood should have been calling for, and should have been calling for a little long
Unknown Speaker 53:39
within not stopped when you know when slowly went bankrupt
Unknown Speaker 53:45
was changes in this in the in in Spruce Street, you know, to me actually asked to be
Unknown Speaker 53:53
counsel or R two to R one or R LD, and the council denied considering that and that was in the probably 2004. So the neighborhood had made an attempt just like historically side that are really available are one now. So are your speaking of the council doesn’t have to approve every petition. The petition was allowed.
Unknown Speaker 54:19
And, and, you know, that’s the risk you take when you invest in property. Frankly, I’m not as
Unknown Speaker 54:29
you know, not as sympathetic about this.
Unknown Speaker 54:32
Because I am more sympathetic to the needs of the wider Walmart community, which which needs housing.
Unknown Speaker 54:44
Unknown Speaker 54:46
I’m just I’m just saying that there are we’re not curtailing all opportunities to speak. We’re not curtailing the right to petition. What we’re saying is that, that at certain
Unknown Speaker 55:00
point there is a lot there is a line between addressing matters of policy and addressing matters of code compliance and, and suitability of a specific app permit application. And when you cross that line, then certain restrictions go into place. They’ve always been there that amendment to
Unknown Speaker 55:27
both both sets of rules and procedures, doesn’t really change the policy, just make sure that everyone’s aware of it. So to the wind farm issue, specifically that
Unknown Speaker 55:40
it sounded like, to my understanding, it may be terrible, you can correct me if I’m wrong, that somewhere along the line, the the wind farm folks, that the impression that they could have a kind of a rolling presentation at
Unknown Speaker 56:01
at the meeting before the actual big presentation. And so they took, they sometimes got that impression from probably city staff or city attorney getting enough from John. And, and also from an there was some sort of violence by the the chair of when his own commission to say that that could that could go forward. And so then when that happened, now, all of a sudden, we’re seeing this issue random,
Unknown Speaker 56:34
quasi judicial conflict and problems there. Instead, what I’m hearing happening, is that your interpretation of it, yeah, not attorney, city, staff, city staff. So this is, this is probably one of those definitely situations where there’s, what do you think here? Let’s go ahead and hit.
Unknown Speaker 56:57
So this is actually more of a Eugene question. Yeah, he’s not here today. So what I understand happened was, during the meeting, when the presentation occurred, at the end of it,
Unknown Speaker 57:10
many of the planning commissioners actually were concerned about the potential crossover into the quasi judicial world, and push that question into the city attorney’s office.
Unknown Speaker 57:22
And kind of said, what do we do in this case, and led to that conversation, so it was actually generated via the planning commission by understanding Jones.
Unknown Speaker 57:35
So, and basically, that’s what started the conversation.
Unknown Speaker 57:40
They had the island Planning Commission, the same item coming into the city council, it gives the chair the ability to say we’re sliding over into a quasi judicial matter. And then they can in the conversation, if it’s moving into that world in consultation. So
Unknown Speaker 58:03
he does have some flexibility to deploy this area workers there.
Unknown Speaker 58:08
We have had actually, in some cases, students,
Unknown Speaker 58:13
I don’t know if you were on council, when we did this, maybe a little bit after work Council has actually continue some of these cases that are appealed to.
Unknown Speaker 58:23
And I know this because Eugene had to kind of go through and say, We’re ending public invited to be heard, we’re doing this, we’re going to carry the meeting over. And then the council can debate the issue amongst themselves as they’re considering it. Now, if you bring in additional testimony at that point, or ask questions, and you have to open it up again. So I know we’ve gone through the process of really informing counsel. It doesn’t need to just be done tonight. You can take it over. And somewhere in Eugene’s history, we have that all laid out because I can’t remember what it was when we did that.
Unknown Speaker 59:04
Probably on an appeal, I guess it wasn’t, it wasn’t just it just Yeah. It took a couple of meetings really went through. So there is a mechanism for counsel to continue that conversation. But that’s kind of how I was raised awareness. And I’m Eugene.
Unknown Speaker 59:21
As you say, not everybody asked him to say, this is your world, not my world. I really need you to go through this process. I hope that answered some questions.
Unknown Speaker 59:33
Is there anyone who has not had a chance to speak we are at 10 o’clock
Unknown Speaker 59:46
now sorry, hi, I noticed I’m black and I’m sorry.
Unknown Speaker 59:49
But I’m sure it’s been brought up. I just wanted to kind of go to this address right now. But today’s show page about limiting free speech and planning
Unknown Speaker 1:00:00
zoning is concerned. So I just wanted to kind of weigh in that I also got that concern. So
Unknown Speaker 1:00:09
it’s been concerned a lot of discussed a lot, Sherry and
Unknown Speaker 1:00:15
it will be discussed before Council and you’ll have a chance to speak there. But
Unknown Speaker 1:00:21
I think the thing that we need to all remember is that, that there are times when certain speech is appropriate and times when it isn’t appropriate, the First Amendment doesn’t actually protect that inappropriate speech. So you know, we have a number of cases where speech is not protected by the First Amendment, the classic yelling fire in the theater is not protected speech, unless there’s a fire in the theater.
Unknown Speaker 1:00:50
And I get to I think the analogy there is obvious. Some pizza, some speeches, always not protected, you know, hate speech, we have rules under the Constitution is, is never allowed.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:06
Privately funded speech, like on a social media platform is never allowed. We are the government, and we have the rights, or we have the duty to protect speech, which means allowing residents to petition the government, but
Unknown Speaker 1:01:25
we need to put limits on it.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:29
Unknown Speaker 1:01:31
we we’ve discussed at length that, you know, there are times when the speeches of certain speeches appropriate at times when it’s not
Unknown Speaker 1:01:39
speaking to policy, speaking to the Council on policy is always appropriate, outside of the quasi judicial hearing, when policy may not be changed in the context of the hearing. So we’re going to share that that’s basically where we’re what we’re discussing is where the line between these two types of speech and venues for speech happens. And I hope that Eugene will clarify that a lot more next Tuesday.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:11
Well, thank you for coming out. Sure you appreciate that. And we always appreciate your insight on what’s going on in the community. And I know you’re a community activist, and so we want to be we certainly we had just had several conversations about that. So just let me know, that we can discuss
Unknown Speaker 1:02:31
again, tomorrow, this point, we’re just trying to maneuver through this. We’re all kind of learning a little bit more about, you know, how to how to how to handle this. We want to handle it. Right, respectfully, and, and without stepping on anybody’s
Unknown Speaker 1:02:49
Rights First Amendment rights. Would you agree there’s there?
Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
Unknown Speaker 1:02:57
we tried to make new election law policy, we got hauled into federal court justice in court and
Unknown Speaker 1:03:04
Unknown Speaker 1:03:08
treats me like a criminal law. So we back off.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:12
Well, well, the city attorney will, you know, sometimes
Unknown Speaker 1:03:18
trying to do the right thing, that from a governmental standpoint, sometimes comes across and somehow you’re, you’re doing the wrong thing. But I really think that the spirit of the council is that to do the right thing, by the community, by the community and making sure that everybody’s voice is heard. And I know that I’ll continue to be out there talking to you, I know marching will be due and, and, you know, the best thing we can do is just hear each other out and make sure that we’re all you know, being respectful as we do that. So if there’s Is there anybody else that you’d like to speak?
Unknown Speaker 1:03:58
I just like to say thank you. I know you folks have other things you could be going on your Saturday morning. I appreciate the fact that you’re here listening. Thank you, Steve. That’s it. It’s very nice to go out.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:12
And I want to thank you all for coming the and and more for coming well prepared. I especially warms my heart to see what someone speak in favor of eliminating parking and, and
Unknown Speaker 1:04:28
promoting urban density. So thank you in particular, ma’am. I’m sorry, I forgot your name. And yeah.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:39
Like you’re welcome.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:42
Thank you all for coming out. It looks like it might be a nice morning. So have a good time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai