Final approval on
City council unanimously agrees on 7,500
square foot lots
At the Dec. 26 meeting, several council members including President Steve Brooks went on record with support for the mayor’s “alternative three” proposal, a plan he had worked out privately with Eaglemont developer Galen Holmquist in an effort to address resident and landowner concerns.
At the Jan. 2 meeting, Councilmember Neal Dooley continued to voice concern about approving any proposal permitting lot sizes less than 7,500 square feet.
“Alternative three is a plan that the Planning Commission never looked at and the public never had a chance to comment on. I think alternative one (uniform 7,500 square foot lots) is appropriate. If we lean towards three we should go back to the Planning Commission and then it ought to come back to us for a public hearing. It’s the right thing to do,” Dooley said.
The Council has been considering various Eaglemont proposals since July, and has heard an unusually large amount of public testimony regarding the project. Area residents expressed concern that smaller lot sizes weren’t consistent with the neighborhood, and several citizens expressed concern about the quality of similar projects completed in the area.
Last week, Holmquist said he thought that if a draft ordinance had been ready, alternative three may have been approved at the Dec. 26 meeting.
Councilmember Brooks said that the mayor’s plan addressed community concerns and was a viable option. At the December 26 meeting, Brooks voiced his opinion against allowing any public comment on the new proposal. He reiterated that position at the Jan. 2 meeting.
“I’ve heard the public speak. My concern is if we open it up for public comment we’ll hear the same people on the same topic. I will support doing the tighter density (alternative three). I think we’ve heard a lot of alternatives. Ultimately land use rests with this council. I’m ready to make a decision,” said Brooks, who eventually voted for alternative one.
Debate ended when councilmember Karen Alessi called for a vote on alternative one. Dooley seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Holmquist said that while he was disappointed, he would abide by the council’s decision and revise his plans.
“We’re going to move forward,” Galen Holmquist.