Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lack of Transparency at the City Council

When looking at the Senior Housing Project, "Olivia on Marsh Creek", I see a number of issues.  Ranging from density, to downtown character, to alternative use, etc.  I'll write about those issues in subsequent posts.  For now I'm going to focus on transparency.

Currently, on the Planning Commission website, the current development projects can be viewed.  Under the Projects in Process, the Clayton Senior Housing is the 2nd from the bottom:

This is as it stands today.  It describes 81 units across three separate two-story buildings.  However, when I look at the plan set here, I see this:

This is a three story building, with the plans having a creation date of July 5, 2018.  The plans for the three story buildings taking advantage of the CA density law bonus must have been in the works for quite some time, yet this isn't published or discussed so the community can comment.  Why the lack of transparency in discussing the current plans?  Why not share with the rest of the city that the proposal is for three separate three story high density senior living buildings?   Even looking back at the history of this development, in a 12/7/15 Clayton Pioneer article, the project was described as 44 high end two story condominiums to be sold.  This was reduced from a previous itteration of 60 units due to concerns about the project.  As the plan stands now, it's 80+ units for rent.  It seems the plan is ever changing, and ever tilting away from what the residents of Clayton want.

If elected, transparency in action and in rationale will be integral to my role.  The job of the Council should be to represent the will of Clayton residents.  To do that, the entire Council needs to be open to hearing from everyone, supporters and detractors alike, and in formats more conducive to dialogue than 3 minute segments talking at each other rather than talking with each other.  Transparency is critical achieving that dialogue.

High density housing in the middle of our downtown doesn't benefit the whole of Clayton residents, and takes away from what could be a vibrant downtown commercial area.

Clayton will grow over time that is certain. Regardless, high density residential housing in those locations downtown is not right for Clayton. Our downtown area should be utilized more for its intended purpose, and for the benefit of all the residents of Clayton. I envision a more family friendly commercial area that puts the character and charm of the city on the forefront. Responsible growth that prioritizes maintaining the character and beauty of the city that we have all chosen to live in is the path we should take.  That means taking the steps necessary to halt this project.