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Council: Paint wall, have more meetings about standing
UPDATE (11:07 p.m.) – No city manager news here tonight, folks. The council has come out of closed session with no news. Check back later this week.
The City Council members are in closed session now, and have been for about an hour. They’re talking about a land transaction and evaluating Interim City Manager Bev Cameron’s performance. I am awaiting any news on that second matter.
At their meeting tonight, council members decided they want to spend as much as $600 to paint the fake brick wall on Princess Anne Street, next to the railroad bridge, that is there to keep commuters from walking in front of moving cars. Some of the neighbors who think the multicolored fake stones are an assault to the senses have even volunteered to do the work themselves. City officials aren’t too keen on that idea, though, because the whole point of the wall in the first place was to keep people out of the middle of the road where they might be hit by a car. Cameron said they’d look into how to do it. It was not clear what color the wall will be painted, but whatever color they choose, it is clear that people are going to send e-mails about how ugly it is.
ARB standing was back on the agenda tonight, also. If you don’t know what that means, you probably don’t want to. Bottom line: The new proposal to allow groups of 40 or more Historic District property owners to ask the council to review an ARB decision will go back through the Planning Commission and ARB, and eventually come back to the City Council, so that they can talk about standing for the gazillion and seventeenth time. Matt Kelly and Kerry Devine said expanding standing (Hey, that rhymes!) adds an important layer of protection to the Historic District. Mary Katherine Greenlaw said enough already.
"This has been hashed and rehashed by two different Planning Commissions and ARB boards, both of whom have supported the existing process," she said.
Tom Tomzak and Hashmel Turner joined Greenlaw in voting against advancing this proposal, which passed 4-3. Devine and Kelly both said this new proposal addresses the concerns that had kept these boards from wanting to change the rules.
We’ll see what a third set of commissioners and board members think about changing the standards for standing.