EDITORíS DESK: Urgency? What urgency?
The residents near the West Kiowa Street duplex project had their say before City Council this week. Time will tell if any good will come of it. I hate to say so, but I
already have misgivings. One unfavorable sign is the evident disinterest by the city planning director, Bill Healy. Despite Mayor Lionel Rivera's call to hold a
neighborhood/developer meeting within a day or two, Healy did not even have a date the day after the council meeting and had only a general notion that one would
be set sometime in the week ahead. Perhaps even more disturbing is his decision to rely for his information on the very members of his planning staff whose work has
been deplored by the neighborhood. Now, I don't claim to know one way or the other on that, but if the man truly was taking to heart what the residents and City
Council were saying, he would be looking into the matter himself or assigning someone else from his staff to perform an objective peer review of the actions that have
occurred so far.
One interesting comment Healy made in an interview was that the duplex developers believe they are being overly scrutinized. Well, excuse me. I thought that was what Planning and Regional Building did. This is a project in which the developer was breaking ground roughly half a year after the owners bought the property - despite a 120-year-old plat, major drainage issues and dubious plans to scrape the low sides of rock formations. By contrast, the Bear Creek Nature Center had to wait well over a year to get a permit just for an outdoor pavilion. And Bob Willard jumped through hoops for about eight years before his Gold Hill Mesa was pouring footers.
The neighborhood can only hope council members stay interested. This is one time you appreciate having elected representatives.