I sat in on a city planning meeting this evening. If I had any hair, I would have pulled it all out.
A business on Rapids Drive wanted to put up a sign. Rapids Drive is a busy street with many businesses, many signs and no residences. However, there was a women there who lived on nearby Floyd Street but didn't want to be able to see the sign from her house. She wanted it moved down a bit so it would be out of her line of sight. I don't think city planners should set the precedent that people have a right to a particular view out their window. After all, the business may not like the look of that ladies house. This woman should have been told that the business has every right, per city laws, to have the sign there and that if she didn't like the view she could move or plant a tree. Next item!
Next item was a women who wanted to open a resale shop in a strip mall on Douglas avenue. Poor thing had to genuflect to the planners and agree to a number of conditions, some of which were outside of her control. Some of the conditions were landscaping, sign removal and consolidation, hours of operation and lots of other stuff. Now this woman does not own the property in question, she is a renter. The owner must make the adjustments that may well cost several thousands of dollars. My guess is that he/she will try to pass this cost along to his tenants. These additional costs will make it harder for this or any other business to survive. Look for more vacant buildings and fewer businesses on Douglas Avenue thanks to the city council and the planning department.
On a positive note, it looks like I will be able to put a deck on my building as I see fit. I happened to read the city ordinances and since my project will cost less than $5,000, I am exempt from having to prostrate myself in front of the taste police, er the downtown design review commission. What color should I paint the railings? I am thinking alternating pink and green railings would be quite a sight.