Brenda Konkel notes that development is more complicated that simply grow up or grow out. Point well taken.
But no matter how complicated the matter, as a community, if we do not build up, we will build out.
This is even more critical for the near-east side neighborhoods if they wish to preserve neighborhood elementary and middle schools. As Baby Boomers continue to reside in the area as empty nesters, housing for families who wish to populate the schools with their kids becomes more of a scarcity.
Just as we must grow up or grow out, we must build family housing in older areas of the city and that requires density. Condos are nice and so are small subsidized apartments. They are not enough.
What we need is three and four bedroom apartments, which are very expensive to build. They also require more parking and larger yards.
The transportation element, as Konkel notes, is critical. There is no way of properly planning a city unless land use planning, transportation planning , and tax policy are carefully blended. While I agree with Konkel that, "we don't want to wait for the great trolley vs commuter rail debate to be settled," I disagree that, "The alternative is to do a traffic impact study project by project."
The city had a decade to address and study these transportation issues. These are issues that are bigger than any one developer, or any one neighborhood. This requires a city response, a city financed response, consistent with the Transportation 2020 Plan.
Konkel reports that:
The idea discussed at the meeting on Saturday morning was to create a transit overlay district that would take the current thinking in transit and parking plans and incorporate them with the land use plans. (emphasis added)
This is an example where the will to succeed must prevail. A transportation plan sufficient to resolve the East Washington BUILD plan must be conducted, now. The delay means greater construction costs, further impediments to family housing, and a continued threat to neighborhood schools. Development must move forward while studying continues.
If Saturday's 'idea' is to solve the problem, great. If it is a time consuming affair that will take months just to consider, phooey.*
Every public officeholder, elected and staff, should feel a sense of urgency and needs to be committed to action.
*phooey. A technical term used by urban planners to describe anything they do not like and call kill with delays. Derived from the Latin, phoothus, meaning to fool someone by wasting time. As in "I can build Rome in a day," which is met by the reply,"Phoothus."