MacLearnsberry Ltr 18066 to PC 10-11-19
Long Range Planning
2019 CP-UDC Amendment Cycle
MacLearnsberry Ltr 18066 to PC 10-11-19
10/14/2019 9:29:11 AM
10/14/2019 9:29:04 AM
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inception are not viable, yet they’re willing to milk the client in ignorance until the <br />reality is inescapably obvious. I refuse to operate that way. If I sense at the introduction <br />that a proposal is not viable, I’ll advise the proponent immediately. If it looks possible, <br />but with reservations, I’ll look for the Achilles heal as soon as possible to keep my <br />client’s investment to a minimum. <br />There are many developments that blight our landscape. I want no part in those. I want <br />my reputation to remain associated with improvements that make our communities <br />better places to live. One of the questions I considered at the outset was, would I <br />consider the Wilke property, if divided in two, a pleasant place to live. For me, the <br />answer was, in terms of the physical environment, a resounding “yes.” <br />I’m hardly shy about sharing with you that my first reaction to Andy Wilke’s proposal <br />was that its viability seemed doubtful–not with such a large pond bisecting the property. <br />However, despite my doubts, I was hired, not to make a snap judgment, but to do an <br />objective review–which also happens to be your responsibility. <br />As I carefully reviewed the regulations and physical constraints, despite my initial <br />expectations, I realized I could find nothing that would violate Jefferson County’s <br />development standards, the provisions for amending the Comprehensive plan or the <br />Growth Management Act. I then advised Andy to arrange a consultation with County <br />staff to get their assessment. Perhaps they would see a fatal flaw I had overlooked and <br />we would round-file the whole idea at the front end. <br />We met with members of Jefferson County’s Planning and Public Works Departments as <br />well as Health District personnel. No one was emotionally-charged or biased. It was <br />simply a methodical, objective review by seasoned professionals. <br />Recall the actual character of the neighborhood in terms of parcel sizes (as depicted on <br />Exhibit G). This proposal is hardly so inconsistent with the surrounding area as to <br />become an outlier if rezoned. <br />I note that none of us missed the wetland or discounted its significance at any point in <br />this process. The pond is obvious on the GIS, indicative of wetlands, and it demanded <br />serious scrutiny from the very outset. There was no doubt, for example, that it would <br />require a broad protective buffer, and it became apparent quite early that it would <br />preclude any development of the western portion of the property. So a land use <br />professional, public or private sector, could not help but have initial doubts about the <br />viability of this proposal. Yet, with diligent, competent analysis, the common verdict <br />was that the rezone proposal was viable and a subsequent subdivision would have <br />realistic prospects for success. <br />I need to emphasize I and Jefferson County staff are all working strictly within the <br />parameters of the Growth Management Act. It is not the Stasis Act or the Growth <br />Prevention or Extinguishment Act, nor the No New Homes On My Horizons Act. It <br />presumes growth and mandates acceptance of it. What it does is set rigorous standards <br />bridling that growth. As you know, the GMA also prescribes periodic adjustments to
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