Thursday, August 03, 2006

The board taketh, the board giveth away

During discussion about ending the night-time on-street parking ban, OP trustee Martha Brock “repeatedly said the village needs to find a way to reduce the number of cars residents own,” Oak Leaves reports.

"I think it's a good idea to seek to reduce the overall demand for parking," Brock said, adding that if the village creates more parking spaces, residents will continue to purchase more cars.

Of course!  People have been thinking the problem is not enough parking, when it’s too much!

Meanwhile, the board went ahead on its teardown moratorium, rushing the vote to honor its own moratorium on meetings during August.  It halts demolition of single-family houses on multi-family and commercial streets.  It’s a saving of the 200 such structures, for now, until new ordinances can be crafted, according to trustee Robert Milstein, who likes the idea very much.  He threw out the 200 figure in discussion, identifying it as his “opinion.”

The vote was held on Monday after study-session discussion on Thursday.  That’s legal, said the village lawyer, because OP is a “home rule” community.  The moratorium was opposed only by trustee Ray Johnson, who said he had got calls from worried realtors, to which Milstein and Brock responded that they had got them from not worried ones.

Milstein had said (several times) that it’s a matter of “courage” to vote for this (and do some other things).  Johnson said on Monday that it took courage to oppose it. 

Village President David Pope said he’s usually not for moratoria but would make an exception this time, calling it “a reasonable step" because of its limitations — which if it covers 200 houses can’t be so limited as all that.  Nor is it limited to 120 days: the trustees can shorten or extend that at will, Wednesday Journal reports.

The uncertainty of it all plus other recent board actions might make OP look anti-development, warned Johnson.  "There is also a lot of uncertainty when it comes to residents," countered Milstein.  In other words, you got your uncertainty, I’ve got mine.  Very high level of debate here.

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