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The mayor wants to ensure that Sunroad-type issues do not occur in the future. The best way to approach this is though policies rather than personalities.

In response to my previous posts, some readers thought I was criticizing staff at Development Services:

The folks in DSD are dedicated to professionals who work hard to make projects better.

I absolutely agree to this and believe that our priorities should be focused on maximizing community benefits from development. I apologize if I have offended anyone. We need professionals to deal with developers.

Land use authority of the government originates in the police power of the state to regulate public health and safety issues. Some readers misunderstood my post on streamlining the regulatory process, advocating for the efficiency argument:

I want government to be efficient, effective and responsive to taxpayers (Erik)
Since when did we start bashing government agencies for being efficient? (Clif Williams)

A trade-off of public safety for cost-saving may sound tempting for a city in crisis, but I still believe in the public structures to protect us and our future generation’s health, well-being and the environment.

There were some comments as to whether Development Services staff interpretation of unlimited height was accurate. Katheryn Rhodes and Conrad Hartsell, M.D. who have investigated this project say:

… the old Zone CA – Area Shopping Center is by definition “Retail.”

Pat Flannery says:

Within the Kearny Mesa Community Plan area, the maximum floor area ratio is 0.50.

The legal issue of whether Sunroad was entitled to this unlimited height will perhaps be resolved in court. However, what is revealing is the weak and permissive language in the development agreement that even allowed the differing interpretations to exist. As well as a Substantial Conformance Review process that is too developer-friendly.

In my next post, I intend to lay out the policy solutions that would prevent future Sunroads, and welcome any suggestions.

MURTAZA BAXAMUSA

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