Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Germantown Delays Final Vote on Zoning Changes

The Commercial Appeal reported yesterday afternoon that the City has delayed the final vote on zoning changes until the next BMA meeting after Christmas. This is thanks to the citizens of Germantown voicing their objections to the scant notice as reported in my post on this subject two days ago. Thanks also to the City for responding to this issue quickly. Here are a few excerpts from the article:  

From Cameron Ross, Planning Director:  

It's general maintenance and review of zoning codes and processes," Ross said. "We take an annual review to determine ways to enhance, clean up and add clarity. We take some of the issues we've noticed in projects and clean it up."

From Dean Massey, incoming alderman: 

"No one knew there were even material changes," Massey said. "If word had not spread once it got out, it (the changes) would have gone through without discussion. That's wrong, and it's part of the problem with transparency that we talked about during the campaign." 

From Sarah Freeman, citizen  

"It's unfortunate the city is trying to pretend these aren't huge changes. These have great potential to change growth in ways we don't want."

There is no indication that there is anything formal planned for information/feedback from city officials or citizens between now and the third reading. It will be left to citizens and various neighborhood associations to discuss the proposed changes and communicate with the City and their aldermen about various provisions that cause concern. At least there is a time out and we can all digest these proposals, ask questions of the City, and voice our specific concerns about various provisions. We may have to use the third reading as our "public forum" by showing up at City Hall for the BMA meeting, and "Citizens to Be Heard." 

If citizens and neighborhood associations have concerns, it might be best to request individual meetings with the aldermen before the next meeting.  

Update: There will be a new second reading.  


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