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Conan71
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« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2016, 10:24:00 pm »


Driveways crossing sidewalks are impediments to pedestrian safety.  The fewer the driveways, the better.  The narrower the driveways are, the better.  Curbside parking and street trees increase pedestrian safety, too.      

I’ll double down on my statement that I’m disappointed the building is not oriented much closer to the street due to aesthetics but let’s be honest here:  Curb cuts for seven parking spaces will not equate to a pedestrian hazard unless that pedestrian is walking along with their phone in their face.  That is not a lot of anticipated parking turn over.  Curb cuts along any high traffic area like St. John Hospital or any number of suburban shopping areas are definitely a pedestrian hazard in comparison.

I’m trying to figure out how those curb cuts are a hazard but re-opening Frankfurt from 2nd to 1st through Santa Fe Square would be more pedestrian-friendly?  I’m not trying to bust your balls but it seems like creating a street through Santa Fe Square is far more dangerous than access for a seven or eight car parking lot is between two buildings on Elgin.

The objections over curb cuts for pedestrians are the same ones I have with “protected" bike lanes, though I think the concern for bike lanes with turn ins for side streets and commercial sites far outweighs those from walking as you are going much faster on a bike.

Granted the only bike lanes I draw on from personal experience are those in Albuquerque through some high traffic areas and they scare the hell out of me.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2016, 12:39:04 pm »


I’ll double down on my statement that I’m disappointed the building is not oriented much closer to the street due to aesthetics but let’s be honest here:  Curb cuts for seven parking spaces will not equate to a pedestrian hazard unless that pedestrian is walking along with their phone in their face.


I should have been more specific.  The curb cuts themselves aren't the impediments to pedestrians on the public sidewalk.  The driveways crossing the sidewalk are.  There are two driveways currently, but they're relatively narrow.  The proposed driveway shown in the rendering appears to be about twice as wide as one of the existing driveways, where it crosses the sidewalk.

The curb cuts along a street reduce walkability and pedestrian friendliness.  They break a barrier (the curb) between vehicular traffic on the street and pedestrians on the sidewalk.  I think the City of Tulsa should allow curbside parking on Elgin because cars parked on the street increase walkability and protection for pedestrians.  Curbside parking tends to slow traffic down.  Curbside parking allows a choice for people who might want to stay in the neighborhood for awhile and visit more than one place.  For example, curbside parking on Elgin would allow someone to go to Jackson Technical for awhile and then do something else in the vicinity.  Curbside parking tends to be more efficient of land and pavement because the access lane to on-street parking is an adjacent traffic lane, which is already part of the street.  With most on-site parking, access lanes must be created in addition to the parking spaces themselves, which adds considerably to the amount of paved surface area.  The most efficient parking spaces on the Jackson Technical property will be those behind the building, adjacent to the alley.

The existing curb cuts appear to be about 18 feet wide each.  The proposed curb cut shown in the rendering appears to be about 40 feet wide, and that extra 22 feet of width is the approximate length of a on-street parallel parking space.  The proposed curb cut appears to be for access to six parking spaces (judging by the cars and pavement stripes shown in the rendering).  That proposed curb cut eliminates two potential parking spaces on Elgin which would take about 350 square feet of asphalt that's already there.  The proposed curb cut would allow access to six on-site parking spaces.  The area of the driveway pavement would be about 200 square feet, and that includes potential planting space for street trees, which provide another protection for pedestrians and greatly increase walkability.  The area of pavement for the six parking spaces plus the center access lane would be roughly 1500 square feet.  So, for a net gain of four parking spots, that's an additional 1700 square feet of pavement, or 425 square feet per space, which is less than half as efficient as the on-street spaces would be.


That is not a lot of anticipated parking turn over.


It depends on who uses those six spaces, and how long they park there.

According to TimJ808, "[Jackson Technical's] business is service oriented and our technicians are constantly visiting clients throughout the day."  I don't know what that means.  The technicians are going in and out of the office throughout the day to visit clients off-site?  Clients are driving to the office to visit with technicians on-site throughout the day?  A combination of both?

But supposing you're right, Conan, that there will be little turnover of those six spaces.  It will take 1700 square feet of pavement, the loss of potential street trees, and the loss of two potential on-street parking spots to create a net gain of four spaces on-site, which won't be used often, if you're correct.  To me, it's disappointing that the City does not utilize Elgin more efficiently and calm down the traffic speeds coming from the IDL.  To me, it's sad that a developer feels as though he needs to set back his building to provide safety from traffic speeding by his property and spend money on driveways and off-street parking when the City could relatively cheaply provide some of the parking on Elgin.


I’m trying to figure out how those curb cuts are a hazard but re-opening Frankfurt from 2nd to 1st through Santa Fe Square would be more pedestrian-friendly?  I’m not trying to bust your balls but it seems like creating a street through Santa Fe Square is far more dangerous than access for a seven or eight car parking lot is between two buildings on Elgin.


I hope I've explained how wider/closely spaces curb cuts and driveways lessen walkability and pedestrian friendliness.

As I understand it, Frankfort is proposed as a pedestrian-only street from 1st to 2nd through Santa Fe Square.  I think it would be better if the design included the potential for one lane of vehicular traffic in each direction with parking along both sides.  There could be gates or bollards at both ends to close or open the street to vehicular traffic.

In case of an emergency, street festival, bike race, marathon, or whatever in the vicinity ... having an alternate vehicular path would be beneficial.  If that one block of Frankfort could survive as a pedestrian-only street, then the gates could remain closed.  But having the vehicular flexibility built into the design is a better idea, for many reasons, which I won't re-hash here and now (but will be happy to do so some other time).

Back to our disappointment about the auto-centric, suburban-style Jackson Technical site layout:

The biggest disappointment to me isn't the setback itself, so I'll disagree with you about that and agree with TimJ808 on his point about subjectivity.  He likes the setback from Elgin and feels more comfortable with it.  

My primary disappointment is the curb cut, driveway, and parking lot between the building and Elgin.  I think it's a waste of money and precious land.  The parking lot and access to it will lessen walkability and pedestrian friendliness.  But it's TimJ808's money and land, not mine.

A second disappointment is with the City of Tulsa.  Elgin is wide enough for on-street parking.  It would be relatively inexpensive to re-stripe the pavement.  Vehicular traffic should be calmed and speed limits enforced, perhaps lowered.  The alley should be paved from 6th to 7th, and the curb should be cut at 6th to allow access to/from the north end of the alley.  And we (the citizens of Tulsa) should bear the cost to have the alley paved and Elgin re-striped.  I'd much rather see Improve Our Tulsa funds going toward repairs to that alley and Elgin Avenue than acquiring more land to widen Denver Avenue.    
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 08:09:41 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2016, 10:33:37 am »

Greetings fellow Tulsans and downtowners...
 
While I’m certain my response won’t change the minds of everyone that this is important to, I do hope you respect that this design is the best option for our significant investment in downtown Tulsa.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Jackson, President
Jackson Technical

Thank you sir. I appreciate you taking the time to explain your reasoning to us.

As most people on here will readily admit, downtown is far better off with your investment than without it. For development nerds, critiquing a development is like looking at a work of art... we may acknowledge that Monet created a masterpiece, but the color pallet should be warmer! It seems you have taken our critique for what it is, a review seeking the most perfect urban development. That can minimize pragmatic considerations for the business owner.

The reason people (including recently commissioned walk-able city guru Jeff Speck) advocate for limited setbacks is because setbacks make a space less walk-able. With parking in front, people are told right away that "this building is for cars." People generally don't walk past parking lots as the message to drive has been sent and because, simply, it isn't a pleasant walk. Cherry Street vs. Harvard between 21st and 36th.  With one building setback, it does create an interesting setback and a miniature (albeit paved) courtyard. But when more buildings do the same thing, that effect is lost and the benefits of minimized setbacks are also lost.

While minimized setbacks certainly are a matter of subjective opinion, that opinion is so very widespread it is nearly ubiquitous. I don't think I've ever heard anyone drive down Boston, Cherry Street, Brookside, downtown Jenks, or any other urban corridor and say "this would look so much better if there was parking lots in front of these buildings." In fact, when you add the parking in the front what might have been an interesting area loses its appeal (note where the Brookside dies off).

Nonetheless, if the layout showed that you did not have the desired parking if you fronted the building - pragmatism wins the day. I get that. I'm not asking for a reconsideration, but do you think it would have changed your formula if there was on street parking on Elgin? Having recently been involved in the debate yourself, you are a great resource for this discussion! What would incentivise private enterprise to want to conform to urban/walkable development norms?

Thanks again for investing in downtown!
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« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2016, 10:34:34 am »

Greetings fellow Tulsans and downtowners.  While the majority of feedback we’ve received has been positive, I wanted to address your concerns on the site placement of our new building.
 
I assure you, we and our architecture team considered many options for the site placement… including up to the sidewalk.  The debates were thorough and never did reach a unanimous consensus. Ultimately, I was the one who made the final decision on the placement.  There were engineering, financial, and accessibility parameters, among other considerations…
 
The primary reason was SAFETY.  We’ve observed the traffic exiting the IDL highways on 7th street tends to be faster than normal as they adjust to downtown grid speeds.  These unsafe speeds extend through Elgin as they turn North from the exit in front of the property.  Our business is service oriented and our technicians are constantly visiting clients throughout the day.  If the extra visibility might prevent an accident, I am of course going to accommodate that.
 
Secondarily was to maximize on-property parking.  There is no street parking in front on Elgin, and all of the lots nearby are private parking reserved for their respective tenants.  The Lindsey House and Coliseum Apartments have just enough parking for their residents, the covered parking to the East is reserved for PSO employees, and so on.  We will have a small number of parking spots in front of the building, the majority on the north side facing the Lindsey House fence, and additional parking behind the building using the alley as room to back out.  Putting the building forward did not increase the number of spots we could accommodate behind the structure.
 
And lastly was function over form.  While we appreciate that many people like the look and feel of buildings developed all the way to the sidewalk… that preference is subjective.  We have daily FedEx and UPS shipments and accessibility was important to us.  The upside-down “U” shape that the three buildings will form feels inviting and comforting to me… a 3 story “hug”.  The sidewalk in front of the properties will not be impeded and will provide an aesthetically pleasing building which creates variety.
 
I am an advocate of downtown Tulsa and only wish the best for our urban core.  I setup shop downtown in 2001, and have lived in the Pearl District for over a decade.  I completely embrace a vibrant and pedestrian friendly environment.  But our employees and visitors have vehicles, and we must accommodate that as well.  If having a few parking spots up front encourages our Broken Arrow and other suburban friends to come visit and be comfortable doing it, I embrace that.
 
While I’m certain my response won’t change the minds of everyone that this is important to, I do hope you respect that this design is the best option for our significant investment in downtown Tulsa.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Jackson, President
Jackson Technical


While you are investing in downtown Tulsa, you are investing in a suburban style manner. The development you are constructing belongs more at 71st and Memorial then the 600 block of South Elgin. Personally, I would prefer you built out there rather than ruining a prime piece of real estate downtown. It's a shame that such a significant amount of money is being spent on a structure that is so poorly placed.  
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« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2016, 02:55:56 pm »

  One thing to note, this developments placement choice will impact those around it.  Including the property owners across the street.  

We are all still hoping for and pushing for a great retail corridor to develop somewhere in downtown. We are not allowed to have the tools in our downtown that other cities have that help create those types of spaces. (though we do have rules in the rest of the city that help create good suburban/car oriented retail corridors and suburban style spaces, there is not one single square mile or block even where there are rules to create good urban spaces)  There are many cities that have rules that go so far as to say no office and living on the ground floor in their retail/transit corridors.  We can't even have any that say "just put it up to the sidewalk".

But suffice it to say that with this development going in there like it is this area will now not be conducive to becoming a retail corridor.  And that is fine, not every street can be or needs to be.

The point I always make is that we are chopping up more and more areas with construction that will not help us create a really strong, competitive retail area downtown.

Even this block where this development is now would have had difficulties if what went in was more urban.  The best place for a shop is somewhere where there are more shops/restaurants, including right across from each other.  (Next time your in Brookside for instance, look at those areas that have the strongest retail/restaurant areas and those that are not as strong retail/restaurant wise and note the difference. There is one little strip mall that has some parking in front near the heart of Brookside and it always struggles to find tenants when there is a vacancy for it does not fit in with the pedestrian nature of whats just north of it and is thus not as attractive as the areas where there are shops/restaurants right next to each other and across from each other)

Now, anyone who wants to put in a restaurant or store on the other side of the street from this for instance, will probably not want to in the first place for they will be looking out over a parking lot, but will also be at a competitive disadvantage downtown with someone who puts their store in a place where there are shops or restaurants opposite them.  (And remember, we are competing against other cities. Why make our urban retail shops weaker and have to work harder than those in our competitive cities?)

If I am looking for a place to put a store.  Where would I do better downtown, if I put it in a place across from another store or restaurant which has hundreds of different people going in and out of each day? Or across from an apartment or business in which only a few of the same people go in and out of it, a few times each day?

I want my store to be across from another store or restaurant so I will have enough pedestrian traffic to compete.  And near other stores and restaurants next to me to help make it a destination area for shopping/dining.

This stretch of street with this development as it is will be at a double disadvantage now if anyone wants to put a restaurant/retail establishment there.  Or on a block to either side for now this will establish this area as being a pedestrian "gap" downtown. It will not only be "not conducive to having retail/restaurants there, it will also be less appealing as a pedestrian corridor.

And again, thats fine. Not every street can be a pedestrian/transit friendly corridor or the more active "pedestrian lively" retail/restaurant corridor.  Even the best cities have more quiet, slower streets.

We have decided to not organize and create urban retail areas (though again we lay out rules to make auto centric things work well outside of downtown so not sure why we can't do that for pedestrians & transit downtown) but leave it up to individual property owners to, of their own good will, do so, or not do so, for our city.
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« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2016, 10:52:09 pm »

Sorry but a parking lot in front of a building downtown is not acceptable if you want good urban design, especially on a commercial corridor like Elgin.  I am just glad this isn't north of 6th. 
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« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2016, 12:02:16 am »

Everybody, I just feel like the character, Guy, the tag-along in the movie, Galaxy Quest, when he says something like, "I'm just so happy to be along for the ride."

https://youtu.be/6mXWXwxPtXg

Tulsa will be great.  I believe Tulsa will be rebuilt.
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Left OK over 40-yrs. ago with Williams Bro. Passing through 4-yrs. ago I saw downtown's potential. I've lived in 200 places & love good citiies.  Tulsa's phoenix rise is reason enough to stick around.  Besides,myou can't fully be an Okie except in Oklahoma.
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« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2016, 09:28:17 am »

This is a good example of why an overlay downtown is needed.  You'd think that downtown would be a place that wouldn't need setback requirements, but its pretty clear that for areas that are going to be infilled, it's kind of a blank slate, and not everyone agrees with all buildings to the sidewalk.  The building looks great, though, and it's their right to build anything that the zoning code allows.  I just really wish it fit better with the downtown environment we're trying to develop in the East Village.
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2016, 08:11:42 am »

This is a good example of why an overlay downtown is needed.  You'd think that downtown would be a place that wouldn't need setback requirements, but its pretty clear that for areas that are going to be infilled, it's kind of a blank slate, and not everyone agrees with all buildings to the sidewalk.  The building looks great, though, and it's their right to build anything that the zoning code allows.  I just really wish it fit better with the downtown environment we're trying to develop in the East Village.

Greetings fellow Tulsans and downtowners.  While the majority of feedback we’ve received has been positive, I wanted to address your concerns on the site placement of our new building.
 
I assure you, we and our architecture team considered many options for the site placement… including up to the sidewalk.  The debates were thorough and never did reach a unanimous consensus. Ultimately, I was the one who made the final decision on the placement.  There were engineering, financial, and accessibility parameters, among other considerations…
 
The primary reason was SAFETY.  We’ve observed the traffic exiting the IDL highways on 7th street tends to be faster than normal as they adjust to downtown grid speeds.  These unsafe speeds extend through Elgin as they turn North from the exit in front of the property.  Our business is service oriented and our technicians are constantly visiting clients throughout the day.  If the extra visibility might prevent an accident, I am of course going to accommodate that.
 
Secondarily was to maximize on-property parking.  There is no street parking in front on Elgin, and all of the lots nearby are private parking reserved for their respective tenants.  The Lindsey House and Coliseum Apartments have just enough parking for their residents, the covered parking to the East is reserved for PSO employees, and so on.  We will have a small number of parking spots in front of the building, the majority on the north side facing the Lindsey House fence, and additional parking behind the building using the alley as room to back out.  Putting the building forward did not increase the number of spots we could accommodate behind the structure.
 
And lastly was function over form.  While we appreciate that many people like the look and feel of buildings developed all the way to the sidewalk… that preference is subjective.  We have daily FedEx and UPS shipments and accessibility was important to us.  The upside-down “U” shape that the three buildings will form feels inviting and comforting to me… a 3 story “hug”.  The sidewalk in front of the properties will not be impeded and will provide an aesthetically pleasing building which creates variety.
 
I am an advocate of downtown Tulsa and only wish the best for our urban core.  I setup shop downtown in 2001, and have lived in the Pearl District for over a decade.  I completely embrace a vibrant and pedestrian friendly environment.  But our employees and visitors have vehicles, and we must accommodate that as well.  If having a few parking spots up front encourages our Broken Arrow and other suburban friends to come visit and be comfortable doing it, I embrace that.
 
While I’m certain my response won’t change the minds of everyone that this is important to, I do hope you respect that this design is the best option for our significant investment in downtown Tulsa.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Jackson, President
Jackson Technical


Exactly - it's time for a downtown overlay. I wish there was a way for the city to do this without the majority of owners agreeing to it. There's a select few downtown who think it would be "to restrictive".

The more time we don't have one, the more chances we have to sh***y development like this popping up in downtown. I'm sorry Tim - this development is nothing but a POS. Sure, the building looks nice, but the design of the building along does not contribute to making a great urban environment. This suburban set back is not acceptable and frankly I would rather see you take your $3 million investment and pack it up to somewhere else in town. We don't need it downtown.

The excuses he used for his reasoning to have the set back are utter BS. People drive too fast off the 7th street exit and continue to do so on Elgin? Give me a break!!! I take this exit all the time.

The design of this development is a spit in the face to everyone else who has invested billions into real estate development downtown and have done it in property urban design. So no, your $3 million investment isn't that significant that you should feel so entitled to build this suburban POS along Elgin. I bet this gave you maybe 5-6 more parking spots... hope it's worth it to you to embed a permanent scare inside our CBD. Here a token thought, since there's no on street parking why not ask the city to do a road diet along Elgin and repaint it to add on street parking for you and the other building around that area? But instead, the lazy way was taken and you have chosen a design that is contradictory to an urban setting that you claim to love so much. 
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« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2016, 09:30:27 am »

It's hard to fathom right now, because so much of downtown has been decimated by surface parking lots, but this is and should be an urban, walkable environment.  We build our cities one parcel at a time, which is why it matters that this building should not be fronted by surface parking.  Remember when Blockbuster insisted on a front parking lot on Brookside?  That lot is still there, it's still a mistake, and it signifies the end of where people walk along Peoria.

I would highly recommend that the folks at Jackson Technical, and anyone who wants to understand how to create lively, walkable places, watch this 20-minute video that explains pedestrian behavior in an urban environment.  These concepts are elemental--this is simply how people on foot respond to their surroundings.  You can see it in action in every city in the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsrqBHEOT0k

People love downtown Tulsa because of its architecture, the diversity of entertainment and dining options, and because it's urban and unique--unlike all the car-oriented suburban development that surrounds it.  We simply must build on that and maximize what is special about downtown. Failing to understand this means shooting ourselves in the foot and then wondering why we never win the race.

The DCC is going to spend $70k to have Jeff Speck do a walkability study and make recommendations for downtown.  Guess what will be included in that recommendation: In walkable places, you have to bring the destination up to the sidewalk, and have lots of windows so people can walk by and see inside.  This development got the windows right, but the parking lot is an impediment that will negatively impact every other property near it. 

Again, it's hard to imagine right now, because that area is so empty, but remember that those wasted parking lots are just future development sites.  If we screw up how infill occurs in these areas, it will delay downtown viability by 50 years or more, while we wait for the buildings to be torn down and replaced with something appropriate for an urban environment. Nobody wants to make that mistake. Tulsa simply doesn't have that much time before we begin competing with other markets across the country.  We are so far behind already, it's laughable.

So, yes, this does impact everyone, and everyone has the right to speak out about this. 

I could go on about how dedicated surface parking actively punishes people who want to walk and use transit, dilutes property taxes, and reduces our ability to pay for public services, but that's for another time.  Just know that downtown is our treasure chest, with the ability to outperform (and support) every other area in the city and the region--but only IF we get the urban design right.  Otherwise, it's just another inefficient land-wasting area that can't generate enough tax revenues to pay for the public services and infrastructure required to support it.

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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2016, 09:50:26 am »

Oh, Ponder ... dear, sweet, Ponder ... I could just give you a big HUG right now, out on a public sidewalk, in full view of God and everyone!

(And I mean the type of hug that's a close, full embrace ... not to be confused with TimJ808's type of distant "hug" -- from 200 feet away, across the expanse of two parking lots.)

Hugs...   Kiss
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2016, 11:59:15 am »

Ponder:

As much as that area seems bleak right now, how long did it take for the Brady to do more or less a 180. It can happen in a heartbeat really. And this building if completed, will likely exists as it is for the next 50 to 75 years. This will absolutely be on that our next generation will wonder what they were thinking.

Two things that I am shocked are allowed to occur downtown.

1. Buildings with setbacks
2. Single use buildings

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« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2016, 10:27:18 pm »

Hopefully this helps lead to the creation of an overlay zoning district downtown (and then later expanded to adjacent areas).  I could see mayor-elect Bynum gettin behind this as well as Blake Ewing.  The message should be that investment downtown is welcome but needs to be done the right way.

I guess we can hope that if they expand they'll build out their parking lot.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2016, 07:36:54 am »

Hopefully this helps lead to the creation of an overlay zoning district downtown (and then later expanded to adjacent areas).  I could see mayor-elect Bynum gettin behind this as well as Blake Ewing.  The message should be that investment downtown is welcome but needs to be done the right way.

I guess we can hope that if they expand they'll build out their parking lot.   Roll Eyes

I think Ewing has pushed really hard for it but the property owners and developers are strongly pushing back (big surprise).  I don't know what the solution is if the requisite amount of property owners won't agree.  Change the law or push the planning commission and city hall to reject proposals that don't fit what an overlay would entail.  I don't think either is very likely to be honest.  We just have to hope that people developing the surrounding area do it organically without needing a law or planning commission to require them to do things right.
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2016, 08:24:10 am »


Change the law or push the planning commission and city hall to reject proposals that don't fit what an overlay would entail.


Push the Planning Commission?  How so?

The Jackson Technical architect/project manager is a planning commissioner.
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