The Fairfield Residential zoning case involving the Signature Pointe Apartments, which was chronicled in the paper version of Unfair Park, took one step closer to approval at Wednesday’s city council meeting when council member Angela Hunt sent the case back to the City Plan Commission. The hearing caused some tension between council members when Ron Natinsky made a motion to approve the zoning, which included deed restrictions to limit what the developer could do on the property. This tactic was rare, since nearly all zoning cases are handled by the council member whose district is impacted by the zoning -- which was Hunt, in this case.
Hunt, as she often does, didn’t hide her emotions when Natinsky made this move, thanking him sarcastically for his interest in her district. Other council members, including Vonciel Hill, came to Hunt’s defense, essentially telling Natinsky to stay outta Hunt’s bidness. Hunt was able to get her motion to send it to the CPC passed, despite Natinsky’s maneuver.
So why did Hunt send it to the CPC instead of approving it?
She was told by a city staffer that creating a Planned Development district on the property through the CPC, as opposed to using deed restrictions, was unquestionably easier to enforce, Hunt tells Unfair Park. Theresa O’Donnell, director of the city's development services, told the council that there was no difference, but Hunt felt more comfortable sticking with her decision to give it back to the CPC based on what she had been told earlier.
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We've already made our case, and although it wasn’t approved Wednesday, Hunt assured Unfair Park that its approval should only be a formality. She said she’s expecting this to fly through the CPC and get approved once it comes back to the council in a few months.
In other Angela Hunt news, apparently Dave Levinthal thinks she’s “Hunting for Tom Leppert,” as his blog post yesterday suggests. He starts out by saying the next mayoral race is three years away, but adds that “calendars do little to quell speculation.” I’m sure Levinthal has little birdies telling him that Hunt is looking at running for mayor in 2011, but c’mon, is now the time to bring this up? I’m guessing that Hunt, who’s mourning the loss of her father, isn’t thinking much about a mayoral run right now.
Seemed like a non-story to me, but I did get a laugh from a quote he got from Carol Reed, who said Leppert’s record so far has been “fabulous.”
Fabulous? Leppert gives me a new appreciation for Laura Miller, and, heck, I’d take my chances with Jennifer Gale at this point. I guess that's the kind of pub you'd expect from someone to whom Mayor Tom's paying $20,000 a month. --Sam Merten