Monday, March 3, 2008

Scorecard for the week

I was able to get away with my wonderful wife for a week to do some skiing and lets see if I got everything that happened this week:

1) working session held so that the public could hear about all of the known Kalahari benefits and costs across the city

2) city heard from the public about a house in the historic city that put on siding without getting ARB approval. (funny, I thought that was in the zoning ordinance, not building code, so I would have to agree with the comment at the public meeting. I love having a DVR.)

3) VA Partners Bank asked for approval to get a few waivers from the city zoning ordinances. Most critical was parking, which brought up an interesting statement that the business would NOT pay for garage parking for employees. (Isn't this a lot like giving incentives if the city doesn't require the bank to pay for offset parking?) Thankfully the mayor sent it back for more discussion. Also sounded like the Bank needs to hold it's own talk with nearby residents.

4) The ALE HOUSE incentives were approved, again the city is refunding future tax income, not giving them a freebie handout (except for some upfront reimbursement for improvements).

5) Seems like a few spears are being tossed setting up for election year politics.

6) Oh yes, another park is in works. If the city can complete the former cossey water treatment plant park along with the new riverfront park, it will create a nice collection of public areas. (Doesn't this mean they shouldn't be spending so much time on the oversized housing ordinance since we will have these great public backyards?)

7) Cobblestone Square is now going to be appartments? Is this even legal based on the original site plan approval (I don't know anything about this one, I have not done the research to see what the city approved back-in-the-day)

8) City continues to fund some much needed capital equipment. Did anyone else notice that the $300k for computer equipment was for outright purchases? Don't most businesses now do a 2.5 or 3 yr lease to help spread replacement costs out over the equipment lifespan? Is everyone in the government doing everything they can to save money instead of going with the business-as-usual.

WOW! And it was only the last week of Feb - I thought things were supposed to be quiet in the winter months. Just wait, we're almost into budget season.

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