[MissoulaGov] Committee Update 10-17-07

Ethel MacDonald ethelmacd at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 11:32:07 MDT 2007


Well stated, Bob. I add my thanks to Bob J. for these updates and
discussions. Ethel

On 10/18/07, Robert Struckman <robert at newwest.net> wrote:

>

> Hi Bob,

>

> I agree with Jim. Bob, please don't allow enmity over partisan squabbles

> sully this excellent forum. And I know you don't think these emails are

> private. Any public emails - ANY - are public, not private, including all

> the back-and-forth on this forum. That is as it should be. Your committee

> updates are a valuable service to the Missoula community. I, for one, read

> them avidly and appreciate for providing the grist for these informative and

> thoughtful online discussions. You're a stand-up guy for delivering your

> frank assessments of the goings-on. So... thanks. Keep it up. Don't hold

> back.

>

>

> All the best,

> Bob Struckman

>

>

>

>

>

> On Oct 18, 2007, at 10:49 AM, Jim McGrath wrote:

>

> Bob,

>

>

>

> Re: "In PAZ things started to get interesting. We are looking at an

> annexation, zoning, and subdivision for a 14 unit project on 3.4 acres on

> the corner of 7th and Tower. That is probably all I can say without

> running afoul of open meeting law and right to know laws so I will speak

> generally about growth in the Orchard Homes area instead."

>

> Huh?

>

> The open meeting law requires that any debate on public matters be in open

> meetings. It does not forbid councilmembers from conveying information to

> the public. I assume everything you know about the proposal was presented in

> a public forum (e.g. PAZ meeting, which has minutes, or PAZ packet, which

> is available for public review.) What it forbids is PRIVATE discussion

> between interested parties (e.g. secret meetings with the developer).

>

> Obviously, if you were to RECEIVE any comment, information, or discussion

> in response to your blog, you would need to share it with all councilmembers

> and the public.

>

> Please do not restrain yourself from informing us about matters of public

> interest before public committees in a false sense of propriety.

>

>

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

>

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

> mailto:missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com <missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com>]

> *On Behalf Of *Bob Jaffe

> *Sent:* Thursday, October 18, 2007 8:35 AM

> *To:* missoulagov at cmslists.com

> *Subject:* [MissoulaGov] Committee Update 10-17-07

>

>

>

> Greetings,

>

> This morning we started with the long absent Economic Development

> subcommittee.

>

> At some point I was appointed to chair this subcommittee and have been

> terribly remiss in pulling together a meeting. I organized this one around

> a presentation of the new Tourism Business Improvement District. The TBID

> is based on a new authorization from the legislature. It allows the hotels

> in the community to charge a per room tax with 100% of the revenue going to

> the local TBID to expend on promoting tourism. Billings is ahead of us and

> just put theirs in place. Hopefully we will have ours ready by the end of

> the year.

>

> The presentation was made by Barb Nielan of the convention and visitors

> bureau and Mary Muse from the Adams center at the University. We learned

> that tourism in Missoula generates $283 million which accounts for $3

> million in bed taxes. The state is generous enough to return $150,000 of

> that to our local community for the Missoula CVB to spend to promote tourism

> here. The new proposal calls for a 75 cent tax per occupied room night. We

> have about 3000 rooms in Missoula. They average 60% occupancy. So that ends

> up being about $500,000 per year.

>

>

>

> I'm looking for suggestions for future Economic Development Subcommittee

> topics. We hear some people complain a lot about Missoula not being a

> business friendly city. I was thinking that maybe we could provide a forum

> for people to come down and bitch about what the city does to inhibit

> economic growth (providing that they do it in a constructive way). I would

> like to see if we could identify any real issues and identify policy changes

> we could work on to resolve them.

>

>

>

> In Public Safety we discussed Transient problems downtown again. Don

> wanted to take one more stab at getting support for a no panhandling zone

> downtown. Officer Dick Lewis reiterated what chief Wickman told us a few

> weeks ago. Fines and arrest are a lousy deterrent for destitute street

> people. We don't want to take up precious jail space with them and there is

> nowhere else to send them. Banning the activity in a certain area may just

> drive them to other areas where they are harder to keep an eye on.

>

> Basically he was saying that the preference of the police department and

> the administration is to set up a task force of the various stake holders

> and work on some solutions. We really need some services and places for

> people to go who are not sober enough for the Pov. This process has some

> momentum behind it and sounds like it will move forward.

>

>

>

> In conservation we discussed a proposal to apply for a grant from the Coca

> Cola company for recycling bins to place on Higgins Avenue. We are looking

> at getting 25 of them. The problem is how to pay to get them emptied. We

> currently contract with Allied Waste to empty the other street trash pails.

> We need to check with them to see what they will charge. Missoula Valley

> Recycle offered to do it for $5/ can /pickup. If we do it each week that

> would be $260/year/can. We were thinking maybe we could get businesses to

> sponsor a can and maybe get some advertising rights on it. We voted to

> support the effort and the Greenhouse Gas committee is looking into the

> details.

>

> In PAZ things started to get interesting. We are looking at an

> annexation, zoning, and subdivision for a 14 unit project on 3.4 acres on

> the corner of 7th and Tower. That is probably all I can say without

> running afoul of open meeting law and right to know laws so I will speak

> generally about growth in the Orchard Homes area instead.

>

> The area has important local agricultural assets.

>

> But it is an obvious place for city growth.

>

> The comprehensive plan has conflicting advice for the area. The map shows

> two per acre maximum density but the plan calls for fringe areas developing

> to urban densities when infrastructure becomes available.

>

> The neighborhood is finally organizing itself and trying to initiate a

> planning effort.

>

> OPG is also initiating an urban fringe planning effort.

>

> My sense is that the neighborhood has not been that willing to come to

> terms with the fact that growth is coming. The planning processes of the

> past have ended up just calling for things to pretty much stay as they are.

> I'm hoping that since the bulldozers are in the neighborhood people will be

> willing to engage in a planning process that acknowledges present day

> realities and needs for growth. Planned growth will be better than eating up

> the whole area three acres at a time.

>

> I would like to see that planning process get ahead of the subdivisions.

>

>

>

> In public works we considered an extension of the sewer service boundary

> out at the Wye. The boundary currently runs along Waldo lane which is to

> the west of 93 just past the Wye. There is a property owner adjacent to the

> line who wants us to extend the boundary around his piece. A number of

> council members expressed concern with expanding the sewer service to

> unzoned land even further away from town with no clear plan as to what was

> going to happen out there. The motion failed with only Jack and I think one

> other person supporting it. This was a bit of a surprise. I went into the

> discussion expecting to vote for it but was swayed by the debate. There was

> definitely a more conservative attitude in the room and a sentiment that we

> want to tighten up our ship on what we are doing about growth.

>

>

>

> Next we had a working session on Hillview Way again. We spent most of the

> time talking about the SID deferral program. The discussion moved in a new

> direction with a request to change the current proposal where the large land

> owners have to pay when they sell or subdivide their property, to one where

> the fee would be applied to new units when they are built. It is all pretty

> much the same thing but the timing on when the deferral gets paid is

> different. The hope was that this will make it more palatable to the

> property owners since the payments will be directly and proportionally tied

> to development rather than just sale of the land. We'll see. I think we have

> a lot more work to do before this thing is ready to go to a vote.

>

>

>

> Thanks for your interest,

>

>

>

> Bob Jaffe

>

> Missoula City Council, Ward 3

>

> bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us

>

> 406-728-1052

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> .

>

>

> Robert Struckman

> *NewWest.Net*

> (406) 829-1725

> robert at newwest.net

>

>

>

>

>

>

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>




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