Marc Luzzatto‚Äôs Village Trailer Park development was approved Thursday night for fear of a lawsuit (“Mournful Rent Control Board votes against trailer park,” July 13-14). Without the required affordable housing, what are the grounds for a lawsuit? Clearly there are one or more major issues with the current development agreement that require immediate attention.
Does the contract with the developer protect the city? Apparently not. Does the City Council give adequate direction to the planning staff? Not always. Are there one or more people in the city manager‚Äôs office and/or Planning Department encouraging the developer to think big, knowing that if enough time and money has been put into a plan that it will tie the hands of objectors, including apparently the City Council and Rent Control Board, on threat of a lawsuit? Should development agreement projects be publicly reviewed every six months or less for interim guidance, to avoid grounds for lawsuits? Should developers who threaten lawsuits to get their project approved be permanently barred from doing business with the city and having all other pending development agreement‚Äôs canceled? Why was this development approved in the first place, ahead of the area plan and with inadequate affordable housing, in a density that looks like a tenement?
All possible steps need to be put into place now to prevent development by lawsuit in the future.