Thank you to everyone who showed up at the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) hearing today. The RPC mentioned we were one of the bigger crowds they have seen, so our strong show of numbers and unity continues to impress.
The RPC voted in favor of Woeste Investment’s application to rezone the residential properties to EE retail. HOWEVER, this hearing was only one of three so we have two more opportunities to have the application denied. (The next hearing is in front of the Regional Zoning Commission and takes place on Thursday, July 18th at 1:00 pm.)
Although we were not entirely surprised but the RPC’s decision, we were completely taken aback by the Commission’s unprofessionalism, condescending attitude, and disregard for resident input. At the end of the meeting, we were especially stunned by the RPC’s inappropriate characterization of our neighborhood.
Larry Sprague of the commission characterized the four residential lots as “what, nothing, it’s six tenths of an acre?”. He also impugned the professionalism and experience of our attorneys who drafted a letter of response to the staff report on our behalf.
Another commission member told a nostalgic story of going down to his local car dealership in the 1960’s to look at the new cars. We have no idea what that has to do with Woeste’s application but we appreciate his reminiscence.
The same commission member then said that “to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs”. We assume the eggs he is referring to are the residents of the community surrounding the proposed 76 space asphalt parking lot.
The same commission member then concluded his remarks by telling a story about how his daughter’s apartment on Bramble was broken into twice while she was pregnant. That is an upsetting story to hear, but again, we have no idea what this has to do with Woeste’s application. Also, the tone and context of his remark was a dog whistle racist comment, totally uncalled, unprompted, and unprofessional.
Residents within 200 feet of the proposed parking lot SHOULD receive notice of the Rural Zoning Commission (RZC) meeting on Thursday, July 18th at 1:00 pm. Please plan to attend if you can.
I know it can be exhausting to keep showing up, but it is the best defense of our sweet neighborhood. So take a breath, take care of yourself, and let’s recharge for the hearing on July 18th.