Development Standards Task Review Faces Back Lash Over Denying Motions and Requesting Further Guidance from the City Amid HB 2439
(Photo credit: Snapshot taken from DSTRF meeting. Pictured is Special Events Committee member and Business Owner Doyle Wells.)
Several Business owners attended the DSRTF meeting in request of discussion and action regarding the proposed location and proposed graphic for public art. Approximately ten business representatives not including City Manager Randy Smith, and Mayor Pro-Tem Ken Medders Jr. were present at this meeting. Chairman Gar Treharne asked board liaison Marta Martinez "I don't ever remember having a meeting like this. Do you?" "No," she replied. He continued, "Congratulations to everyone who has made an application. The ordinance governing this has not been updated in a long time, and we're faced with ever-expanding requests and bigger displays." Continuing his public comment, Treharne raised concern over stripped city ordinances, and consequently, a high demand of requests coming before the board. "To me, it's difficult and very troubling to have these requests. The ordinance has been far outstripped. There's no (regulatory) relationship for (specific) instances. In all the years I've been on this board, I've never seen anything like it. I think that when we start doing these kinds of things, I'm not sure the public and the citizens of SPI want the boulevard to look this way." After an attempt to table all of the seven motions, the board decided to withdraw the motion to table. At that point, the board went one by one and denied each of them until further guidance from the City with the exception of Island Fun Park. Upset business owners lashed out at the board with constant interruption and owners talking over the board. During discussion Board Member Charles Fox asked, "Can you please let me finish Ma'am?" He never finished. Last on the agenda was Special Events Committee member and Business Owner Doyle Wells. Wells requested to "put lipstick on a pig" by repainting the front wall of the Island Fun Park building. Treharne commented, "To me, this is a paint job. I don't mean to offend you. I cannot look at this and say it's a mural or art." Wells agreed, but made a plea to the board to, "Make a strong voice to the City Council through the City Manager to address everything brought up here today for me and the other folks. I felt very uncomfortable tolerating some personal bashing. It's not good. I'm asking you to move fast. We have time to address this." Treharne responded, reiterating the absence of a City Planner (formerly Aaron Hanley). "We no longer have a City Planner. This issue was brought up when the last City Planner was here. We asked him to move that forward, now that's where the ball maybe got dropped. I personally am going to request the City Council, the Mayor, and the City Manager to address this issue because it's very uncomfortable, as you noted." Public Works Director Carlos (Alex) Sanchez approached the podium stating, "Going back to the FBC if you recall, the legislation did away with aesthetics. So, there is no color scheme at this point. What you need to determine is if this is a mural, art, or just paint." Wells approached the podium once more, "I'm backing us (Island Fun Park) up" with a chuckle heard round the room. "It's not a mural I'm requesting. It's just a color scheme, a pattern. I respectfully request for you folks to think about that. Open your discussion that you still can do under the agenda you have. If you so choose, repeal your motion to deny and go from there."
(Photo credit: Snapshot taken from DSRTF meeting. Pictured is the building in question from Well's request.)
Although the other six items were tabled, the board approved repainting the Island Fun Park.