WARNING: RAID is not not using scare tactics' continued

There is another side to this Airway/Castle Rock rezone issue, and that is the referendum. RAID is upset that the Short/Bowers folks would come back and that City Council would even hear the matter so quickly after the electorate denied their request. With an approval rating already in the red, it's not a great idea to rile the masses who just did their patriotic duty of voting and by seemingly undermine their decision. But, hey, that's Council. June 2 couldn't come faster.

RAID wants the referendum to be respected, and president Mike Bihuniak does not believe the issue should come back for at least one year after the election vote. But there is no state law defining what happens after a successful referendum, and the city's zoning ordinance isn't much help either.

It states that no rezoning case "that is similar or substantially the same" as one that was previously denied by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission "shall be filed within one year of the date of the Planning Commission decision."

There are three problems here. One is that the P&Z Commission didn't deny the Short/Bowers rezone request. Neither did Council. In that regard, this zoning case really doesn't apply to the policy.

The second issue is that the P&Z Commission is not an elected body. A development issue should be allowed to come back after a year from the commission's initial hearing for that reason alone.

Thirdly, zoning cases don't always go to Council for final approval immediately following the P&Z Commission's hearing or recommendation of the case, so the "one year" window has already shrunk from the one year timeline by the time it gets to Council, and that's assuming Council approves it right away, which isn't always the case.

RAID wants the city to recognize the people's vote, and in a democracy, I don't see how the city could disagree. RAID and the Short/Bowers group are currently working on a development agreement that would eliminate certain businesses that they don't believe are appropriate for the neighborhood where this proposed strip mall would be.

As a solution to the referendum issue, I would propose agreeing on a what businesses to exclude, write them into the development agreement, then sent the rezone back to the city with a time-delay; basically, approve the issue, which Council would have done anyway, but state in the agreement that it can't take effect until Nov. 6, 2008. That way RAID's referendum is protected, the people's vote is respected, and the Short/Bowers people can get going on plats, secure a buyer if they please (because it will have the zoning in just a few months) and everybody's happy. Then, go in and rewrite the zoning ordinance so it says that "Development issues that are the same or substantially the same shall not be re-heard for one year after a denial either by City Council or the electorate." Actually, that sounds pretty good. Just cut and paste and make this the new code. This blog is protected by copyright, but for Kingman I don't think my publisher will have a problem sharing the language.