[MissoulaGov] committee update 12-12-07

Pete Talbot petetalbot at montana.com
Thu Dec 13 14:35:59 MST 2007


Jim,
While I'm not exactly sure what "a real political economy of planning"
is, I agree that it probably hasn't happened, yet. I'm keeping my
fingers crossed that the proposed rewrite of the zoning regs might be a
start. Then we need to get the county on board. Cheers,
Pete

Jim McGrath wrote:

> Pete,

>

> The reason it remains unzoned, as I recall, because it was mutually

> protested-- i.e. neighbors blocked owners zoning, and owners blocked

> neighbors. Something like that. Neither proposal could get the super

> majority of council.

>

> The Rattlesnake is a sacred cow. Period. As you know, I supported

> progressive planning efforts in that neighborhood (and others) and made

> decisions on zoning based on plans for the most part. I also spent more

> time on small subdivision deliberations in the Rattlesnake than any

> other part of town, probably combined.

>

> I'm being deliberately crusty. But I still challenge you to a real

> political economy of planning. :-)

>

> -----Original Message-----

> From: Pete Talbot [mailto:petetalbot at montana.com]

> Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 10:37 AM

> To: Jim McGrath

> Cc: bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us; missoulagov at cmslists.com

> Subject: Re: [MissoulaGov] committee update 12-12-07

>

> Bob, Jim:

> Ahh, a little reverse-elitism. Because the folks in the Rattlesnake live

>

> in nice homes, and are a pain in the butt when it comes to growth and

> planning issues: screw 'em.

>

> I'm not sure why there wasn't more protest over the 600 unit Miller

> Creek plan -- there should have been. Maybe it's because most everybody

> up there is also a resident of a new, major subdivision, they don't feel

>

> they have a right to complain; or maybe it's because the developers and

> land owners up there were smart enough to advance a comp plan and zoning

>

> that would allow for this sort of development; or maybe it's because

> people up Miller Creek just don't give a damn about what their area

> looks like; I don't know. Whatever ... I don't see that the lack of

> protest on Miller Creek subdivisions should be used as a reason to

> penalize the Duncan Dr. folks.

>

> Here's the kicker: I think that the Duncan Dr. protesters are being a

> little too restrictive in their demands. I'm not so much opposed to the

> number of homes in the subdivision as to the way it's planned. If there

> were some clustering close to the road, a dedicated open space easement

> with public access higher up on the property (and maybe some thought to

> an affordable housing component -- although that's a pipe dream), then I

>

> might support Sonata Park. I agree that it won't put that much traffic

> pressure on Duncan Dr., at least compared to the traffic miasma we'll be

>

> seeing on Miller Cr. Rd.

>

> I guess what fired me up enough to respond was the "Rattlesnake

> residents are a bunch of whiners who care too much about where they

> live" attitude. I was on the initial planning group for the unzoned

> lands in the Rattlesnake, called for by Mayor Kemmis back in the early

> 1990's. We came up with a plan but it was shot down by council. I'm not

> sure why the lands are still not zoned but to be allowing subdivisions

> to go in without zoning is quite regrettable. And I'm guessing that the

> City bears some responsibility here.

>

> Oh yeah, having walked all over the Rattlesnake for many years now, I

> can attest to the fact it isn't as wealthy an area as people seem to

> think. There are a number of modest homes, duplexes, apartments, even

> mobile homes, scattered around the valley. The fact that the housing

> market has everything in the 'snake way overpriced isn't the fault of

> the residents. Compared to the University Homeowners Association,

> Rattlesnake residents are a pretty mellow crowd.

>

> Finally, the Sonata Park doesn't really impact me -- I'm on the other

> side of the creek -- but because of all the open space lands surrounding

>

> the Rattlesnake, the valley is a special area. And it's used and viewed

> by folks from all over our city. Please keep this in mind.

> Pete Talbot

>

>

>> Bob,

>>

>> Here comes my usual on the Rattlesnake.

>>

>> I find it ironic that the Council pencil whips approval for the

>> largest subdivision in history and then get bogged down in a small

>> subdivision with little impact in the Rattlesnake.

>>

>> I agree that the main rub is comp plan compliance. However, don't get

>> me started on the politic economy of growth policy compliance. The

>> City Council fervently defends the rattlesnake with it's high end

>> homes and condos but prefers to defend large business interests over

>> lower income neighbors.

>>

>> You guys should assess a Rattlesnake-using-city-time fee!

>>

>> Happy holidays!

>>

>>

>>

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

>

>> *From:* missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com

>> [mailto:missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com] *On Behalf Of *Bob Jaffe

>> *Sent:* Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:20 PM

>> *To:* missoulagov at cmslists.com

>> *Subject:* [MissoulaGov] committee update 12-12-07

>>

>> Greetings,

>>

>> In public safety we finished up the chicken discussion. There wasn't

>> much more to say about the whole thing so Jerry made the motion to

>> move it to the floor with the amendment that there should be $15

>> annual licensing. Jon Wilkins tried to amend the motion to include a

>> provision that adjacent neighbors had to give permission for someone

>> to have chickens. The amendment did not pass. We will discuss and vote

>>

>

>

>> on this on the floor on Monday night. As long as no one is absent it

>> should pass.

>>

>> In conservation we set the public hearing for the new parks fee

>> schedule. Most everything is going up about 10%. The parks department

>> and conservation lands people also presented Jerry Ballas with some

>> gifts in honor of his leadership and service to the parks during his

>> years on council.

>>

>> The whole two hour PAZ meeting was dedicated to the Sonata Park

>> subdivision off of Duncan Road. My vote on this is going to come down

>> to how literal I think growth policies should be read. A number of

>> issues have been raised and addressed. There is a fear that the

>> underground pipeline will explode. This pipeline runs through plenty

>> of subdivisions and communities. It runs right across the Rattlesnake

>> valley. It runs through the Clark Fork Terrace subdivision that we

>> just approved.

>>

>> Concerns were raised that there is some kind of geological fault and

>> unstable soils on this hillside. We conditioned the subdivision on a

>> geotechnical study being approved by the engineering department. If

>> there are geotechnical problems this study should identify them and

>> make appropriate recommendations for mitigation.

>>

>> There are concerns about additional traffic. Duncan road north of Lolo

>>

>

>

>> St. currently sees 1700 trips per day. The road can handle way more

>> than that. It gets a lot of pedestrian traffic so bike and pedestrian

>> improvements will be needed at some point.

>>

>> Some feel that there shouldn't be more homes up near the open space.

>> That goes for every subdivision that is on the fringe of town.

>> Everyone hates to see former open space turn into subdivisions but

>> saying no for that reason isn't really a legal option.

>>

>> The one issue I struggle with is that this neighborhood organized

>> itself and developed a neighborhood comprehensive plan in 1995 that

>> calls for very low density development on this hillside. That plan was

>>

>

>

>> approved and adopted into the growth policy by the city council.

>> Pretty much every neighborhood that has seen growth can attest that

>> comp. plans are a general guide and are not taken literally in every

>> chapter and verse.

>>

>> My understanding is that the legal protest limit has been met on this

>> project so it will take eight votes to pass the zoning. Without the

>> Zoning the subdivision cannot go forward as proposed.

>>

>> We scheduled another session for Friday 9-11 to try to finish this up

>> so we can vote on it Monday night.

>>

>> In A&F we honored Jack Reidy for his many years of service and passed

>> a motion to name the council conference room after him.

>>

>> In Public Works we bought some trucks and a forklift. We also

>> discussed the interlocal agreement with the county over the

>> construction on Miller creek road. They are wanting the agreement to

>> be re-worked so they can more or less step out of the deal and let the

>>

>

>

>> city take over the project even though some of it is on county land.

>> There were two parts that raised some interest. One clause ceded the

>> county's right to use eminent domain to the city for this project. It

>> is highly unlikely that this will come into play on this project but

>> it should be provided for in the agreement. A question was raised over

>>

>

>

>> the legality of the city having extra-jurisdictional eminent domain

>> authority.

>>

>> The other issue had to do with a deal where the prior owner of the

>> Maloney Ranch property gifted $250,000 to the county at the time when

>> the property was sold for development. The gift was earmarked for a

>> bridge into lower miller creek. There was a letter in our packet from

>> the guy that said it was for a bridge and if a bridge could not be

>> built by 2020 then it could be used for other infrastructure

>> improvements. This money (with interest now $340,000) is part of the

>> financing package for the planned improvements. The rationale is that

>> at this point, the way things are going, it is highly unlikely that a

>> second access bridge can be constructed by 2020. So therefore the

>> money is free to use now on other infrastructure projects. No reason

>> to actually wait until 2020. The man who made the gift has passed away

>>

>

>

>> but there is a letter from his daughter that says it is OK to use the

>> money in this way.

>>

>> This raised all sorts of red flags. We wanted our legal council to

>> weigh in on this to confirm that it is legit. Mr. Haines also took

>> great offence to this plan as it was symbolic of abandoning the effort

>>

>

>

>> to construct the bridge.

>>

>> Thanks for your interest,

>>

>> Bob Jaffe

>>

>> Missoula City Council, Ward 3

>>

>> bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us <mailto:bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us>

>>

>> 406-728-1052

>>

>>

>>

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

>

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