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Here are some of the issues the...

INSIDE CITY HALL

March 19, 2003

INSIDE CITY HALL

Here are some of the issues the City Council considered on Monday:

APPEAL OF MINOR DESIGN REVIEW

On Jan. 16, the zoning administrator gave a permit to John Grey to

store vehicles outside Pacific Coast Auto in the 800 block of West

18th Street. Councilman Allan Mansoor appealed the decision because

he wanted Grey to improve the appearance of the location with a

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10-foot landscape setback.

The Planning Commission upheld the zoning administrator's approval

without requiring the additional landscaping, so Mansoor appealed

again. The City Council continued the item, upon Grey's request, on

March 3.

WHAT HAPPENED

The council reversed the Planning Commission's decision with a 3-1

vote, with Chris Steel dissenting and Gary Monahan absent, and

required Grey to add the 10-foot landscape setback within a year's

time.

WHAT IT MEANS

As a condition of receiving the permit, Grey must add the

landscaping within a year.

WHAT WAS SAID

Grey claimed he couldn't afford any more landscaping after he had

already invested $40,000 in the property he leases from John Crowe.

But Mayor Karen Robinson encouraged Grey to see the landscaping

addition as a quid pro quo for getting the permit.

"If we're giving you something, then you should give something

back," Robinson said.

ACCEPTANCE OF GRANT FUNDS

A consent calendar item asked the council to spend no more than

$5,000 to conduct the "Every 15 Minutes Program," an anti-drunk

driving program for high school students. The city is supposed to be

reimbursed for the funds. Consent calendar items are usually approved

all together, without discussion. Councilman Allan Mansoor pulled

this one off for discussion.

Mansoor expressed concerns about if and when the city would be

reimbursed by the state and pointed out that there are other areas in

the city that need funding.

WHAT HAPPENED

The council voted 4-0, with Gary Monahan absent, to continue the

item to its April 7 meeting to give Mansoor a chance to view the

video used in the program.

WHAT IT MEANS

The council will reconsider accepting the funds at its April 7

meeting.

WHAT WAS SAID

"The state received that money from the [federal government],"

Mansoor said. "They give it to the state, then [the state] gives it

to us with strings attached, and they want us to spend our money

first. I was simply pointing to the circus atmosphere of how our

government does business, not that it's not a worthwhile program. I

just wanted some questions answered and I was happy with how things

turned out last night."

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