Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yolo Sun: Double-talk in Gateway II approval is a double-cross of downtown

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun opinion piece "SacBee article outlines local planning context; illumination between-the-lines still required:"

Initially, general development drift was westerly, most commercial zoning kept along Main and Court Streets. Much of this earlier “strip-mall” type of development (in Sangree’s words), “proliferated and deteriorated.”

Significantly adverse community blight currently exists related to this (in Petrovich’s words): “obsolete retail — four-and-five-decade-old stuff when there were a lot of shop tenants in the world before the advent of big-box,” as Sangree’s story starkly confirms.

Woodland presently has ~276 acres of vacant / undeveloped commercial property, with about a quarter-million square feet of vacant retail space. Blight is a major ingredient in the present experience of our downtown.

Excitement with County Faire Mall developers (a Petrovich of those days) led to a totally unnecessary selling-out of our downtown’s entertainment function, with Mall inclusion of a new movie-theater complex, for decades undermining any possibility of supporting renovation and expansion of historic State Theatre (oddly, a prime goal of our original Downtown Specific Plan adopted shortly after the Mall opened — but now seemingly buried forever by the recent, perverse and non-transparent city council decision to permit Chase Bank to occupy a needed, adjacent parcel).

A clear litmus test of utter nonsense regarding the newly proposed, double-breasted Gateway is that one-third of the commercial zoning (20 of 60 acres) is being designated for motor vehicle dealerships, allegedly vacating Main Street; while at the same time, the city is beginning to assist these very same dealerships with locating at another site in eastern Woodland.

There are no motor vehicle dealerships on Main Street that will relocate into Petrovich’s commercial crypt at a new Gateway. Bad-faith thus flows from its basic developmental documents, staining our civic processes, while a majority of our city council members appear oblivious.

Here is a case of double-talk turning out a double-barreled Gateway and a double-cross of our downtown.

Read the entire article at YoloSun.wordpress.com.

Read Hudson Sangree's SacBee.com story "Big-box development on outskirts of Woodland leaves downtown in decline."

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