‘We believe the City Council is wrong in rewriting … history’

Dear Editor,

We believe the City Council is wrong in rewriting Pine Meadow history – wrong on the facts and wrong on the process.

Rewriting history is very serious.  The City Council decided at their Jan. 18 meeting that Pine Meadow’s designation as open space was an error made 43 years ago, and the designation should be housing.

A key fact they apparently overlooked was City Council Resolution 69-73 passed in June 1973 that clearly shows Pine Meadow as Open Space.

• The City Council voted unanimously to pass that Resolution and accept the map showing Pine Meadow as Open Space.

• The Resolution states they did this after holding both Planning Commission and Council hearings.

• It goes on to state no one objected to the resolution at either hearing.

The Open Space status of Pine Meadow was affirmed by City Ordinance 788 in May 1974.  It was affirmed again in the Staff Report on the Busby project in July 1976.  And the Council actually re-approved the map showing Pine Meadow as Open Space in Resolution 149 in September 1977.

Yet the City Council denied these facts (this is just one of several issues that we believe were overlooked or misinterpreted), and instead voted to say the designation for Pine Meadow should have been for housing.

The Council was wrong on the process they used because:

• They gave the developer/owners almost two hours to present their case, including a 106 slide presentation never seen by the Council or City staff before.

• The staff was not given the time to study or rebut any of that information.

• The Council was informed that they had to make a decision that night, so they had no time to study or question it either.

• Their final decision was rendered after midnight.

That is not good government.

The Council’s decision was wrong because no weight was given to the people who relied on the Open Space designation for Pine Meadow for 43 years.

The Council’s decision was wrong because they have now set a dangerous precedent emboldening others to come to the Council to rewrite history for their own purposes.

We believe the Council must re-establish the legal process of requiring a General Plan Amendment to change Pine Meadow from Open Space to housing.  No one says there cannot be housing at Pine Meadow, but we should base that decision on the law, and not on what happened at the Council’s Jan. 18 meeting.

– Tim Platt and Mark Thomson for Friends of Pine Meadow

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