Why Spend Money Now?

posted in: Budget, North 40, Our Town | 0

Ed Morimoto’s address to the council 10-18-16

Yesterday, I received a notice for the October 27th Special Meeting of the General Plan Committee to consider amendments to the North 40 Specific Plan.

When this council convened a special hearing on September 27th to consider amendments to the plan on the heels of the denial of the North 40 Phase I application, some such as myself wondered about the appropriateness of the Town’s haste in light of a possible lawsuit.

Since then that possibility has become reality and I am speaking tonight asking you to deeply question the virtue of further investment in amending the North 40 Specific Plan at this time.

Now as you all now, I am not indifferent with regards to the question of whether the Specific Plan should be amended at all and I understand the sense of urgency some may have to do so.

However, I do not believe given the uncertainty of the North 40 Phase I application and the pending lawsuit, it is possible to make thoughtful amendments to the plan until it is resolved.

After nearly eight years of work on the current Specific Plan with all of its investment in time, consultants, studies & debate, those who believe the plan should be amended are saying it is still not right. So what chance does an amendment process have of succeeding if fundamental questions such as whether this new plan will apply to the North 40 or just the North 20? If 270 housing units of the allotted North 40 capacity is spoken for or not?

In a time where we face so many important issues such as beach traffic, the downtown parking shortage, and dealing with a massive unfunded pension liability in the face of declining sales tax revenue, I believe we cannot afford to squander valuable staff, commission, public and council time on an effort that isn’t set up to succeed.

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