Letter: Cooper building review
The March 28 Planning Commission meeting includes an item for a major development application to construct one additional unit at the 1002 Cooper Ave. location currently under construction with eight units replacing the previous four units. This development is near our household and we attempted to provide comments at the March 2 City Council meeting. Our attempts to address the council were silenced by the mayor as the city’s planning process does not provide for citizen review at that juncture. Councilors Steve Davis (project general contractor) and Kathryn Trauger (project representative) recused themselves from the March 2 council action.
In doing our homework at the City Planning Department, we learned the original conversion from four units (three residential and one commercial) to the eight residential units was able to skip the major development review process required under city code. Planning staff advised the eight-unit project was errantly permitted under a general building permit without the requisite major development public process. Now the question before the Planning Commission and the council is the major development permit for the one additional unit. No public process for our neighborhood was afforded by city staff, Planning Commission and council for the original eight-unit development.
How is it that the city planning staff overlooked permitting requirements for this project involving councilors Davis and Trauger and restricted the public consideration of this nine-unit development (more than doubling the existing development) to one unit? How did the project proponent councilors miss this requirement for a major review? Why now is the neighborhood afforded the opportunity to comment on only the one additional unit?
This now-nine-unit project will have significant impacts to our neighborhood and deserved the public review that the city’s code contemplates for such development. Will council, the Planning Commission and planning staff continue to waive public process and code requirements for projects involving city councilors?
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