Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Papa Was Salty Last Night

I do not know what Ludye Wallace had up his sleeve in delaying the Salem Gardens vote last night until the end of June. He said that he wants to hold a community meeting and help "the public" understand what they were supporting.

Salemtown residents started understanding the message that the Planning Commission sent about balance at Salem Gardens in late March. We understood in April when we started e-mailing council members and signing petitions. We understood in May 1 when several of us stood with one voice against a single absentee developer in the Metro Council Public Hearing. The only thing we do not understand is why Ludye Wallace fails to understand that we understand.

Despite our understanding, this morning I went back to the Senior Planner who was in charge of this rezoning request and I asked her if I had misunderstood that rezoning 3 of the 5 properties to an RS7.5 would only allow single-family homes and would not allow duplexes. Here is her response:

Just to confirm, RS7.5 will only allow single family units. If the Council rezones the three properties to RS7.5 as recommended by the Planning Commission, then only single family units would be permitted. The other two parcels that are recommended to remain MUN could have a number of uses including duplexes. This may have been what the Councilmember was referring to.
So, it is clear that I did not misunderstand anything. Ludye Wallace is the only one failing to understand.

But Ludye seemed to be in a salty mood last night. On other bills he chewed up chunks of meeting time speaking against the public.
  • He taunted David Briley's height restriction substitute bill, which was a compromise from neighborhood complaints about developments that block out the sun and the profit motive of developers.
  • He defended Harold White's controversial PUD request and dismissed the neighborhood opposition (expressed by other Council Members) to White's bill.
  • He spoke in favor of an electronic sign bill that Council Member David Briley characterized as having no observable support in the neighborhoods it affected and as only being supported by a single sign-making business. Ludye also chastised a group of Council Members who wanted to amend that bill to exclude specific streets in order to protect nascent major planning projects (like Gallatin Road) and lectured them on how to vote in the future.
Papa Ludye was salty toward "the public" last night, so why should those of us in one of his neighborhoods be exempt from his flying brine? Either he is spoiling for a fight with residents and on behalf of developers or he is simply out of touch with the bulk of his own constituency. Maybe it is some of both.

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