This past Tuesday night, Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance to comply with the City’s recent agreement on affordable housing. It provides for the creation of “overlay zones” – areas that could more easily incorporate affordable housing in future development while continuing to respect legacy zoning requirements.
I was proud that so many in the community came out with thoughtful questions and concerns as to how the ordinance would impact their neighborhoods. It was democracy, with a little d, at its best, as the Council afforded a forum for all concerns to be heard. After all, a home is many citizens’ most valuable asset; any proposal that could affect property values and the enjoyment of their residences is rightly the subject of great scrutiny.
I supported Council’s vote, despite many ambiguities about the exact effect it would have on the affected neighborhoods. As stated by Mike McTernan, Council President, if we fail to establish these overlay zones, ultimately we will lose local control of the process, and it will be imposed on the City by the courts. Planning, zoning, and other critical local issues are best managed by neighbors, not the courts.
Our citizens did rightfully raise many valid concerns as to how their skyline, safety, traffic, parking, and general enjoyment of their neighborhoods and property might be affected.
I pledge, if elected to Common Council At Large, to be a staunch supporter of our citizens’ rights. Absolutely no development, affordable or otherwise, should occur that’s not thoroughly and transparently vetted with respect to all aspects of our zoning and development requirements, including parking, traffic studies, health and safety, impact on schools, and a myriad of other essential details.
David G. Dietze
David Dietze is the Republican candidate for Summit Common Council, At-Large.