The city’s Ordinance Committee took its first steps toward creating a measure to rival the strict 40- to 45-foot height-limit measure for downtown buildings, which is slated to appear on the November 2009 ballot. The committee tentatively agreed that its measure will address height, open space, setbacks, and a building’s maximum floor area, but it will not include strategies for ensuring smaller units.

City Council strengthened the hand of the Architectural Board of Review and the Historic Landmarks Commission by giving initial approval to an ordinance requiring that comments made by these review boards be read, considered, and responded to by the Planning Commission when it approves any commercial development. The two review boards must, furthermore, address a project’s size, effect on public views, and open space.

Rob Pierson, city finance director, reported to the City Council that if Measure G, the Telecommunication Modernization Ordinance, fails on November 4, the city’s street fund alone risks losing 14 percent of its funding. The measure is designed to keep the city’s utility users tax income the same as it is now by reducing telephone and cable television taxes and applying them to new telecommunications technologies.


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