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Letter to the Editor: For local, deeper issues persist from Presidio decision

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Letters

I wish to follow-up regarding the contentious Presidio in the Pines decision. In spite of all the main issues discussed, my study reveals that the strong opposition from residents was really based on foresight and justice. And to the residents’ credit, these were also testified to.

Let’s look at the foresight issue first. The original Presidio used “transect” rules that may have been relevant then but were never fully implemented, leaving a development that now was still subject to the PRD loophole and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) standards that are weaker than for a straight rezone to HR from Highway Commercial (HC). And in a “non-transect” zone.

The near future construction of the I-40 offramp onto Woody Mountain Road would fail to meet both resource protections (as trees would need to be cleared) as well as nuisance noise from vehicles on this ramp. That means Finding No. 3 would fail to be met. But retail uses on Tract M would not be an issue for anyone and would help meet Sky Cottages demand once it is built out. Standards for a CUP should be stronger, not weaker. This and the PRD loophole beg for revision.

The city should have listened to the “people” who told us that this was not in the public interest thus failing to meet Finding No. 2. But most councilmembers were too intent to jump on the “housing crisis” bandwagon, especially the two running for mayor. The nearby activity center is surely a more appropriate location. Unwillingness to implement reasonable alternatives shows lack of foresight.

Now what of justice? It used to be that promises made were promises kept regardless of which developer made them. Dignity demands that promises to the people be honored.

Only Mayor Deasy had the moral leadership and courage to do the right thing in this case. Thank you, mayor! The moral conscience of our city is what is at stake here as we cannot continue to ignore the will of the people to our own shame and folly. Shades of the Aura development? I think so.

PHIL GOLDBLATT

Flagstaff

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