Additional Thoughts (Apr 5, 2020) – Transit Oriented Development

Apr 5, 2020 | City Council

The following was originally published in my Apr 5, 2020 Newsletter in the “Additional Thoughts” section

I have received some emails (and I expect to receive a few more) asking me to support DC-2, which would direct the City Planning Commission to explore the idea of special zoning districts for transit-oriented development. This is an interesting topic to come up now, when public engagement and public debate is more difficult and, arguably, much more pressing issues are being raised every day.

At least one of my colleagues has expressed an additional concern: this idea is not time-sensitive and it is brought forward by a planning commission that lacks Council representation. It has now been seven months since Council voted not to re-appoint the current liaison to the Planning Commission (9/3/19) and nine months since that Council liaison’s term expired (6/30/19). During this time (despite the unusual circumstances), Council has continued to do the necessary and time-sensitive business of considering projects and developments: in the last seven months, Council approved eight developments and negotiated additional benefits for a PUD on this week’s agenda (see C-1). I do wonder if agenda item DC-2 is the right thing to be talking about at this time.