This week, the city council will move forward with how quickly and exactly how to dial back the increased building heights along the so-called isthmus (which is really a peninsula). In the packet this week is a staff report and proposed ordinance spelling out exactly how the city can move forward.
What struck me is the long process even making a temporary (on the way to permanent) rollback of the comprehensive plan. In addition to a public hearing within two months, it has to get onto the docket of the planning commission, which won't be able to pick it up until late summer. It will go into effect immediately, but the city council will end up also justifying its actions at some point.
Here is part of the staff report that deals with the process itself:
In addition to a brief discussion of options, Council also asked for a brief outline of the schedule of events that would follow the adoption of an interim rezone. After the initial adoption of an interim zoning ordinance, the City Council must hold a public hearing within 60 days. Following the public hearing, the City Council must promptly adopt findings of fact justifying its adoption of the interim ordinance. The interim ordinance is effective for six months, but may be effective up to one year if the Council adopts a work plan for studies related to the interim ordinance.
If an interim rezone is adopted, Council will need to consider adding an item to its docket for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan so that final changes to the Official Zoning Map are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Map. The normal procedure for amending the Comprehensive Plan and associated development regulations includes a briefing before Planning Commission followed by a public hearing, deliberation and a recommendation to the City Council. The current Planning Commission calendar appears to be heavily booked through July due to scheduled meetings for the Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program updates. Without changes to that schedule, the Planning Commission could not hold a public hearing on a Comprehensive Plan amendment and zoning change until September/October.
Anyway, I do have one question from this topic so far, what are exactly the legal implications? This action isn't happening in a vacuum and there is a project that has already been applied for that is higher than the current council would like.
Is changing the comp plan now trying to put the cows back in the barn by closing the door when they're already chewing the flowers?Council Date 1/12/10 7b Agenda Item