Monday, November 23, 2009

The Cliffs and the Non-vote Vote

On December 9, 2009 (I believe this is the date), the Ada County Commission will address the request of the Cliffs Planned Community, to extend the preliminary plat of the Adelaide North Subdivision for two years. You see, since the original approval of this preliminary plat in July 2006, the economy has kind of tanked for new houses and the developers wish to keep this application alive for two more years in the hopes that something might happen.

The bigger issue however is that the Cliffs has no road access and has never had any access. How this development ever got approved by either Ada County or ACHD is beyond me. In fact, that is precisely what I said on November 18 when ACHD staff gave an update on the extension. Apparently, ACHD just follows along granting extensions if the land use agency does.

I argued that this planned community/preliminary plat is different. ACHD should never have approved the application without access and currently, ACHD should not approve an extension because there is no access. If the developer's ever get their request approved by the State of Idaho Department of Transportation for access then they could come back.

By approving this extension, ACHD and Ada County will be codifying the rights established and vested in a preliminary plat. By denying this extension of the preliminary plat, both ACHD and Ada County could return this area to sanity by requiring an access before anything happens.

Alas, my arguments did not win the day. But what was most illuminating was that in this pre-commission meeting, which is not taped, we actually had a vote and it came out 4-1. President McKee may not have thought she called for a vote, but she said who's in favor of doing what staff recommended and it came out 4-1.

Now it's been evident that that real work of the commission gets done in the "pre-commission" and "post-commission" and "work session" meetings and these meetings are not taped or recorded for posterity. I have asked over and over that we tape these meetings. Oh no, is always the answer, we don't take votes in these meetings.

That fiction has now been definitively shown to be just that, a fiction. Why the heck are the other members of the commission afraid to tape the meetings?


At December 15, 2009 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Sharon Ullman said...

Sara ~ An update for you. The time extension you wrote about for The Cliffs was approved by the Board of Ada County Commissioners on December 9 on a 2-to-1 vote. I voted against it for numerous reasons, including not having the ingess/egress issue resolved in the five years since the project first started to make its way through the system.


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