Concerning the Noyes boondoggle:

I first heard about the Noyes application when it was presented to the Planning Commission by the city planner. The city planner recommended that it be approved. Planning Commission members voted to approve it, save one. This was the first open public meeting.

I recommended that it not be approved, on the grounds that it was discrimination. No business has ever been asked to apply for a Conditional Use Permit for storage. Not the port, the tank farm, concrete company (they store septic tanks), mini-storage, or any other business or residence.

The next public meeting was before the City Council. Again the city planner presented her case and recommended it be approved. Bob Bogar, chairman of the Planning Commission, also recommended approving the Conditional Use Permit. I had a gut feeling the City Council was ready to vote to approve the permit. I stood up and argued that the city planner's report was not complete. There was no site plan. Some issues not addressed were: Site fills, storm drainage, traffic plan, sewer and water hook-ups, size of buildings, curb and sidewalks, etc. I think this was the first time the City Council agreed with me, and postponed the discussion until next meeting.

This is what gave the citizens time to organize. I agree that they were not notified properly, and I have tried to introduce a plan for better notification, but was turned down by the Planning Commission.

At the last public meeting on the Noyes case I was the first to speak on the "for" side, although I was against the approval. I still believe that the City Planning Department was after the $500 Condition Use application fee. Several others spoke on the "for" side. No one applauded. Then it was the "against" side's turn. After the first speech there was a deafening ovation. The look on the City Council's faces was priceless, and it appeared that Fred Marshall was busy rewriting his speech. The citizens prevailed.

I take another view of this whole thing. The citizens should not have prevailed. Here is why.

According to the Comprehensive Plan that the citizens voted on in 1997, C-l, a sewage treatment facility is allowed. The proper procedure, in my opinion, would be to file an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan removing sewage treatment facilities from that zone. That way the citizens would have a say in what is developed in that area. Plus, where should the Noyes' business be?

Any citizen can file a complaint to the city planner. It then goes to the City Council, the City Council gives it to the Planning Commission and then a recommendation goes back to the City Council for finial vote. The citizens can be involved in the whole process.

Don Berger


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