Re: Permit Streamlining & Boss Ursula Sherman Transitional Housing Use Permit
Email from: L A Wood , July 29, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Wendy Cosin, Mark Rhoades, Weldon Rucker Kriss Worthington, Dona Spring
Dear City Planning and Zoning,
Just wanted to voice my concerns regarding the proceedings at the ZAB hearing last Thursday night, July 24. Let me say first that I object to what seems to be the planning/zoning staff's attempt to rewrite the project proposal for the BOSS transitional housing (via the staff's report). It appears that staff is trying to compensate for the applicant, for a project screw up and because the project plans were not complete when presented to the planning staff and finally to ZAB for its final approval and public hearing.
I know there was a rush to complete the EIR and send the project to ZAB. However this is no excuse for city staff to unfairly alter the ZAB's use permit procedures. I think staff's request for administrative discretion from the ZAB sets a bad precedent for our use permit process and clearly erodes the opportunity for public review and comment.
It is my understanding that legally the ZAB can only consider the project as it was presented to the public. What's going on here? Staff does not have the discretion to so radically redraft the project, like the number of units, unless these significant core changes to the project come earlier... at the beginning in the Use Permit process and certainly before the formal public hearing for project approval. I think staff is well aware of this basic fact.
I recognize that this last minute alteration of core elements of the project, if addressed in the proper (legal) way, would have force the BOSS public review process to nearly start over and be further delayed. You know that this is the course that any other use permit petitioners, in a similar situation would be legally required to follow.
Again, staff's request for administrate discretion is inappropriate and should not be been legally considered for last Thursday's public hearing or for the ZAB deliberations/approval.
Also I know you are aware that the public should have had access to all critical ZAB documents prior to the hearing for review. However, last Thursday night the project was approved, and yet, the monitoring/mitigations document was missing. I heard staff's comments during the hearing about providing “a hand drafted report” if the ZAB wanted...because of the legal requirement for ZAB to consider the document before final approval. So what about the public and public review process?
I believe actions taken by planning staff are clearly a distortion of ZAB Use Permit process and without any legal precedent. Further, I believe the actions taken by the ZAB to approve the project, under the above circumstances and with said conditions, to be illegal as well. Let's take the time and do the process right.