Tuesday night, the full Planning Commission voted to deny City staff’s recommendation for the variances and SOS amendments necessary to complete the Grounds Improvements. Only two commissioners, Chair Dave Anderson and Commissioner Myron Smith, did not join the motion to deny and spoke against it. FBSP is very disappointed with their action of the Commission.
They did not reject the plans because they don’t support the Grounds Improvements – in fact, they discussed how necessary almost all of the projects are to control erosion, improve water quality, improve accessibility, and care for the trees and lawn.
However, they had reservations about the expansion of the parking lot, and wanted to see more options from City staff that did not expand, or even reduced the parking lot size and impervious cover, and increased bike parking even more than the current 40 spaces. They also did not support the ADA path to the historic marker.
In effect, the Commission denied their approval, and put at risk four years of work on the plan, in order to send a message to City staff that they were serious in their objections to a few aspects of the plan.
What’s next? This does not stop the Grounds Improvements – they will go to the City Council on March 7, where the Council will likely set the public hearing on them for March 28. All other Boards and Commissions have approved the plans, so this is only one rejection, but it is an important commission, and the could be used as a way to derail the entire project.
That’s why we will need you more than ever in the next month! We will need members and supporters to call, send emails, and attend the Council meetings in support of the plans. Please stay tuned for alerts and updates from us. Like our Facebook page, if you haven’t already. And please email the City Council, and let them know you support the Grounds Improvements, and plan to attend the City Council meeting on March 28.
We can’t let this setback put a stop to our years of hard work on this project, and these vital improvements to our beloved pool!