Stone34 Design Review Meeting

Another Design Review Meeting for Stone34 (3400 Stone Way North) is scheduled for Monday, April 30 at 8:00PM, at the University Heights Center (5031 University Way NE). This is the second recommendation meeting since the Design Review Board did not make a recommendation during the March 19 meeting.

Skanska’s most current design proposal is available for review here.

  1. protected static said,

    Hm. I’d call that an improvement. It’s still tall in the context of that particular site, but that’s a lot better.

    Thu, April 26 at 10:20 am
  2. Mickey said,

    I liked the last version and was worried what the DRB’s compromise feedback would do to the design, but that’s not bad!

    Thu, April 26 at 11:27 am
  3. prop3 said,

    The original design was pretty darn good. The revised design is even better. I was also worried about what result the DRB feedback would lead to, but this looks like a great building.

    Thu, April 26 at 3:05 pm
  4. Lee said,

    Skanska has done a great job of putting lipstick on a pig and selling it to folks who just look at its self-serving (and grossly misleading) drawings. Skanska’s latest proposal has incorporated a new way to circumvent the land use code. The undisputed fact is that the building as proposed violates current zoning and is in conflict with neighborhood plans. In order to proceed Skanska and its friends at city hall have proposed amendments to the Living Building Challenge ordinance to allow it the special privileges and exceptions it wants. As these changes to the law were being drafted, they were modified to satisfy the concerns of Skanska’s lawyers that the building might not meet the requirements of even the modified law.

    Now – after three Design Review Board meetings, Skanska/DPD/Brooks are once again proposing additional changes to the unadopted proposed amendments to the Living Building Challenge. The latest proposed amendments to the proposed amendments among other things eliminates the requirement that the height and FAR departures not conflict with adopted design guidelines.

    Whatever anyone thinks about the building, the process stinks. Any critical look at the underlying issues (and beyond the fancy drawings) clearly illustrates that even in Seattle money talks – loudly. If a company has enough money, the city will write the laws to the company’s specifications and for its interests. Existing law, the real goals and objectives of living buildings, and the work of hundreds of neighbors over years of effort in trying to create a livable neighborhood are brushed aside.

    Thu, April 26 at 4:09 pm
  5. coolio said,

    well, they have more money than I do. I wont waste my evening speaking about my thoughts against breaking existing important city rules.

    Thu, April 26 at 4:54 pm
  6. tri-p said,

    Does it stink because you’re not getting it your way? I don’t see what’s so bad about the building or what it will do to the area.

    Thu, April 26 at 5:02 pm
  7. Mickey said,

    Jeez Lee, tell us what you really think!

    Thu, April 26 at 5:39 pm
  8. coolio said,

    It stinks because they made the City break the codes.. money can buy anything.. next time it will happen again only taller with more blockage..

    Thu, April 26 at 6:09 pm
  9. someguy said,

    So let me gets this right… Skanska is asking for a 45% increase in height? I’m all for a green building but 20′ taller than its neighbors seems a bit out of scale. Isn’t there some other incentive that can be granted (such as expedited permitting), that doesn’t fly in the face of good urban planning?

    Thu, April 26 at 7:20 pm
  10. Ryan said,

    This is going to be great for the hood. I’m a neighbor to this building and I think it will make South Wallingford more livable.

    Fri, April 27 at 6:06 am
  11. coolio said,

    ohh some guy you flloish guy…I have asked this over and over.. and the response on this board is that the business to the neighborhood is good because the business that a spaghetti house brought to the neighborhood was good.
    I wont comment anymore.
    Money talks.
    Water view are sold every day.
    Off to the movies.

    Fri, April 27 at 7:44 am
  12. DOUG. said,

    The cyclists in their renderings still aren’t wearing helmets.

    Fri, April 27 at 7:53 am
  13. Neighbor2You said,

    I also like the look of the building and believe it will be a very good addition to our neighborhood.

    But separate from that, what does the reference to “spaghetti house” mean? Just curious.

    Fri, April 27 at 8:22 am
  14. Donn said,

    Back in March, a Brooks employee wrote up a blog post that attempted to draw a parallel between a small restaurant that moved into an existing 2 story building on Wallingford N, `Cantinetta’, and this block long, 5 story office building. To be strictly literal about it, the last time I looked (online – never been there), the menu at Cantinetta did not include anything so prosaic as spaghetti.

    Fri, April 27 at 8:45 am
  15. Neighbor2You said,

    Ah, thanks, I’d forgotten about that blog post. Well, the parallel drawn in the post was/is not especially meaningful for me, but I do like the proposed building, and Cantinetta is my favorite restaurant in the ‘hood… :)

    Fri, April 27 at 8:55 am
  16. Donn said,

    Among the other problems with the analogy is that if `arugula tagliatelle, tonno in oglio’ looks good on the menu but turns out to be a bland tuna casserole, you just walk away $16 poorer but a little wiser. If the glitzy architects renderings of this project don’t match the reality (and they won’t – nothing could be be as `transparently’ dishonest as the earlier renderings, but in any case no building ever looked as good in real life as it did in the artist renderings), it’s going to be in your face anyway (and mine), looming over the landscape for decades as another monument to the influence of big landowners and developers in the city planning department.

    Fri, April 27 at 9:19 am
  17. prop3 said,

    Critics of this project (on this blog anyway) fall into two camps: “I don’t like it” and “It’s not fair”. The former find the project offensive to their personal aesthetic. No design will please everyone and it’s doubtful that any of these folks could build a consensus for their personal vision. The later are upset that Skanska and Brooks are exercising the right to petition their government to change an existing land use law in a way that allows them to build something that does not fit within the existing code. Yawn. This happens every day (sometimes more than once). If you want to be taken serioudly and not be dismissed as NIMBYs or general malcontents, you’ll have to do better. And lay off the Brooks employee. You probably don’t even know her. I do. She is a wonderful neighbor and cares as much about this neighborhood as you do. Attacking her just makes you look spiteful.

    Fri, April 27 at 11:33 am
  18. Donn said,

    Wait, someone was attacked – before you showed up, that is? I see one remark that could conceivably be taken that way, but typographical errors are so bad I can’t say for sure, and it wasn’t directed at a known Brooks employee. After that, 100% of the personal attacks are yours. Who’s spiteful?

    Fri, April 27 at 12:16 pm
  19. tri-p said,

    Wow, Donn. Are you this hostile with everyone, or just people that don’t agree with you?

    Fri, April 27 at 12:44 pm
  20. Donn said,

    That’s very funny.

    Fri, April 27 at 12:47 pm
  21. prop 3 said,

    Hold on there, tri-p. Donn is certainly entitled to express his opinion. That’s what this blog is for. Anyway, he kind of makes my point for me.

    Fri, April 27 at 12:50 pm
  22. Dennis said,

    I would disagree with you prop3. It seems like the comments on this project have been more about the merits of the project – specifically whether the additional height is a reasonable tradeoff for the green building features.

    Fri, April 27 at 3:13 pm
  23. prop 3 said,

    A rational discussion about the merits of this project would be a welcome departure from the invective that passes for discourse on this blog. See comments 4, 5, 8,11 and 16 above.

    Fri, April 27 at 3:29 pm
  24. Donn said,

    Since 16 is mine, I volunteer for rational discussion about any point where something looks to you like “invective”. For example, I did refer to early artist renderings as dishonest, but while that may be a harsh thing to say, it isn’t a problem to support that on a factual level if you weren’t already aware of it.

    Fri, April 27 at 4:15 pm
  25. tri-p said,

    Way to own it, Donn.

    Fri, April 27 at 4:46 pm
  26. Lee said,

    I can’t see how pointing out that Skanska is attempting to once again change the law, including the application of design review standards, after three DRB meetings doesn’t constitute a “rational discussion about the merits.” It seems that a building’s noncompliance with the zoning code, neighborhood plans, comprehensive plan, and design guidelines are relevant. Perhaps even more so than just expressions of how pretty the building will be. Is the “end” and not the “means” the only value to be considered?

    Fri, April 27 at 4:53 pm
  27. Frickfrack said,

    Donn, have you never been to an early design guidance meeting before? There is no design yet, it’s directional. Early drawings were just that, not a conspiracy. There is a real design now, let’s focus on that.

    Fri, April 27 at 5:26 pm
  28. Frickfrack said,

    And Lee, it’s a “design” review. Pretty is more relevant than potential code changes.

    Fri, April 27 at 5:29 pm
  29. Lee said,

    I have to disagree that design review isn’t involved with the code changes. The primary issues raised regarding the building are the increased height and FAR departures. The code specifically puts these issues in the lap of the DRB under the Living Building Challenge ordinance. The criteria the DRB is to apply in deciding on whether the departures should be granted has now been changed in the “new” proposed ordinance to eliminate the requirement that the departures not conflict with adopted design guidelines. The entire review of the Skanska project is based on the proposed, but not yet adopted, code changes which directs the DRB to make decisions on these departures. I tried to point out that the proposed code changes to be considered in allowing the special privileges Skanska wants keep changing – at Skanska’s request. Since Skanska can’t comply with the current law which is to be applied by the DRB in the current process, its approach is to ignore or have the law changed. To limit the debate to how the building looks, how many new people will come to the neighborhood, etc. ignores the real underlying issue. This diversion has been Skanska’s strategy from the beginning.

    Fri, April 27 at 5:57 pm
  30. walkinroun said,

    The cheerleaders for this project, who show up with such regularity and singular purpose on this blog whenever this issue comes up, have done more to persuade me that it is a bad idea than the original noncompliance with neighborhood zoning codes for height proposed by the developer. They return again and again and again casting aspersions and snide comments at those who are challenging this project’s proposed encroachments and violations of the neighborhood planning processes. Those of us living here and those who participate in the onerous and challenging task of developing thoughtful, informed neighborhood planning codes find the intransigent advocacy of the outsized height of this project baffling.

    Fri, April 27 at 6:26 pm
  31. Donn said,

    Frickfrack, you seem to sort of want to talk about it, so here you go. The image I present as an example is here: http://www.wallyhood.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/3400-Stone-Way-North.jpg

    The question is not whether it is fastidiously faithful to the design details. As you say, that’s more than we can expect the first time around in a design review. The question is whether it honestly represents the building in terms of the issues that would be under consideration at that review, and it doesn’t. It doesn’t just fail out of innocent ineptitude, the artist worked at it, and did it so obviously that everyone involved could hardly have overlooked it.

    The really distinctive architectural feature of this building, in the context of this site, is of course its height and mass. If you go to this drawing to get a sense of how that will look, you see a faint, misty outline of the mass, through which you can unaccountably see a lot of bright blue sky and clouds. Reading this, you might think `oh no, surely that’s just an attempt to render the reflective qualities of the glass and other materials in the building wall’. But look at it – the cloud forms pass through the building outline. It is a conscious, if not desperate attempt to disguise the building mass. Whoever did that was trained in architectural rendering, understands three point perspective and all that, and would surely know how to render a reflection if he or she cared to. For that matter, would surely know how to honestly represent the visual effect of that building’s mass, if he or she cared to. But instead we got this.

    Fri, April 27 at 6:31 pm
  32. whickwhack said,

    Being a nice person and a wonderful lady has nothing to do with one’s writing skills: the allegory was rather forced and not necessarily reflective of a situation.

    Fri, April 27 at 6:58 pm
  33. Donn said,

    Honestly, I thought her writing skills were quite good, if that helps. It’s interesting to see what a good writer can make out of such a feeble premise, and she did a creditable job. I would take points off for use of the word “vibrant”, which must be the original “buzz word”, but she obviously knows what she’s doing.

    Fri, April 27 at 7:34 pm
  34. Neighbor2You said,

    @ walkinroun,
    Just a clarification: I do like the Brooks/Skanska project, and if the only definition available is “cheerleader,” well, I guess I have to have that applied to me.

    However, (1) I’ve been very engaged in the neighborhood planning process, ever since I made the decision to live here, and (2) I’m not one to cast aspersions or make snide comments.

    I realize that my opinion may place me outside of your collective, but once again, I’d ask that we accept that our neighborhood comprises different points of view. Sometimes, I think that these neighborhood “blogs” are inherently divisive, as they may artificially force an “US versus THEM” mentality, but you know? I still believe we’re better than that…and I know that I benefit from reading these posts, even from–especially from!–the people who see things differently. Let’s keep the discussion going.

    Fri, April 27 at 8:07 pm
  35. al said,

    I believe the land use departures that this project seeks are also referred to as “incentive zoning” – the City providing developers with incentives to develop certain types of buildings. The policy implications inherent in incentive zoning give me pause. Why is developing a living building intrinsically more “worthy” of height and density exceptions than say a project that would adaptively reuse a building in disrepair or that would develop a building to house social services for populations in need? How does the City draw the line as to what should be considered a “worthy” project?

    Fri, April 27 at 8:27 pm
  36. Thomas said,

    I would like to thank Lee for his thoughtful comments. I have mostly been on the fence regarding this issue but I appreciate the substance of his comments which I must say give me pause about this building. Consistent and fair zoning are critical to good neighborhoods and it does seem that there are some major issues with both the process and the building itself.

    Fri, April 27 at 10:55 pm
  37. coolio said,

    I would love to see anothe rbusiness group come to the area which would employ local residents; use existing buildings- we have a large abandoned one and space in another.
    I would appreciate-after existing buildings are used-to then have more good businesses in the neighborhood which did not undercut small stores already here and comply with existing building codes- it is possible.
    We have no womens clothing stores.

    Sat, April 28 at 7:47 am
  38. Miss Ruby said,

    Lee has implied here (and before) that Skanska is buying off City officials to get what they want. I don’t believe that’s true, and I would expect a more civilized approach to the issue from the Community Council President.

    Everyone has a right, and maybe an obligation, to lobby city officials for changes to existing or new laws and policies that address issues that (they feel) need a better solution. Skanska, Brooks, the WCC, you, me – all have the right to do that without being accused of bribery. That’s really over the top.

    I believe that people making these decisions – the DRB, DPD, the City Council, the Mayor – are all good, smart people trying to do what’s best for the neighborhood, and the City. You may not agree, of course, but that’s what that is – a disagreement, not a conspiracy.

    Sun, April 29 at 7:08 pm
  39. coolio said,

    maybe they are doign what i sbetter for the cITY first and foremost in terms of getting money.. and that affects the neighborhood. If the WCC prez implies that bribery is happening.. maybe he knows something or fears it or intuits it.

    Sun, April 29 at 7:33 pm
  40. Dennis said,

    I think what might be more likely is that the City really wants to have some projects developed under the Living Buildings Ordinance and the folks there will work with any developer who’s willing to have a go at it. The challenge is that when you’re working with someone (developer, architects) really closely it’s easy to forget the other folks who should be at the table (neighbors, etc.).

    Sun, April 29 at 7:48 pm
  41. Donn said,

    But he does not even imply bribery. The exact words I think we’re talking about are “even in Seattle money talks – loudly. If a company has enough money” …

    … and I think he’s right `on the money’ about that. The combination of a big money landowner, the developer and prospective tenant get you a hearing at the planning offices, they get you a premature announcement by the mayor, they get you planning staff assigned to make this project work out. Between the developer and the planning staff, they can cook up a plan that works for enough people to just get by – they hope – and keep tinkering with it as required to fend off the various opponents and push it through the city council etc. No one paid money for this service – it is not bribery – but neither is it available for little guys that just own a single lot down there on Stone. Lee’s comments do seem a little less temperate than his usual here, possibly because he and others have had to do a lot of work over many months out of their own personal resources to fight this – fight not just the land owner and developer, but the city who we would wish might be on our side, and it has gotten kind of old. (And it will be a sort of miracle if the community council et al. can stop this project, pitted against all the resources the developer and land owner can bring to bear.) But he’s talking about the reality of life in the big city, where of course money does talk, and it’s grossly twisting his words to say he accused anyone of bribery.

    Sun, April 29 at 8:45 pm
  42. Ryan said,

    I never thought about that. We have the head of the Wallingford Community Council advocating very angrily for one side of an issue – but the neighborhood is split, some would like to see the building, some would not. Its possible that the WCC isn’t supposed to represent the entire neighborhood, I really don’t know its charter. But at the very least this looks really bad.

    Mon, April 30 at 7:15 am
  43. Nancy M said,

    People writing on a blog may or not be people in positions elsewhere. Even if self-identified is shouldn’t matter: what goes on here is opinion in my opinion. The Wallingford Community Council’s elected officers are responsible for creating an in-person forum for discussing civic matters monthly. As long as all opinions are allowed to be voiced at those facilitated gatherings what one president or treasurer believes/says doesn’t matter. As I recall, he WCC was formed in the 1960s initially as a group – Community Organizers! – to formalize pressure to either not have the transfer station built here or to have a say in its scale. The Lee who writes in this thread sees beyond the consequences of code changes and greenspeak manipulation to the larger picture of what buildings come next as I read his posts.

    Mon, April 30 at 8:03 am
  44. Lee said,

    I hadn’t intended to respond to the personal attacks, but feel that I should point out a few facts.

    1. I did not in my post identify myself as the WCC president, or even a member of the WCC. I did not claim to be speaking on behalf of anyone but myself. I didn’t even use my last name. Ms. Ruby is attempting to attack the WCC by attacking me and “outing” me as the WCC President. Being new to the blog world, I didn’t realize that I should have used a more ambiguous moniker, as is done by Skanska’s suspected paid spokesperson when she posts here in support of the project. This is not to suggest that Skanska doesn’t have a right to do so. As we now know, the idea that money = protected speech is now the law of the land.

    2. I never accused anyone of bribery. That accusation is simply false. I did suggest a difference between the way that individuals and large corporations are received when they run up against land use restrictions. The latter can evidently get the code rewritten and rewritten again to accommodate its desires. Does anyone believe that there is no connection between money and politics or public affairs? If it is inappropriate to express that opinion here I apologize. However, it is certainly not a new idea.

    3. As for looking “really bad” for the WCC to take a position on an important issue, does that same rule apply to the community organizations that Skanska continually touts as supporting the project? Once again, please remember that I did not claim that my remarks represented the WCC’s position – angrily or otherwise.

    4. With regard to my position, I would point out that no one in the posts so far has contested my analysis of the code changes or the process. If anyone feels the need to attack the messenger instead of the message, at least attack the right party – me and not the WCC.

    If this reply is construed as “advocating very angrily”, I again apologize. At least I didn’t suggest that anyone’s expressions of opinion involve a felony.

    Mon, April 30 at 9:22 am
  45. coolio said,

    advocate away… no one wants a spineless non-thinking, incapable of deciding or speaking with knowledge about effects of a major change. it takes courage to be a leader. Courage is necessary.

    These are written words and can not or should not hurt anyone.

    Mon, April 30 at 9:36 am
  46. Neighbor2You said,

    Blogs seem to me to be a fairly new communication medium, so perhaps we’re still working out what the applicable ethics ought to be.

    Because I see blogs as community forums where people can express opinions–and I benefit tremendously from the diverse points of view in our community–I don’t expect the same level of accuracy I want to see in professional journalism. So it’s my job as a reader to read carefully, but to also do whatever fact-checking I feel I need to do on my own to have confidence in what is said.

    Given that, and so long as individual posters on a blog are clear that they are speaking as individuals, it’s not a big concern for me that they may have this affiliation or that affiliation. The only thing that truly gets my ire is when someone writes as though they are speaking for an entire community. For me, that’s in the same camp as leaving out dissenting points of view from the record at public meetings and offering the product as evidence of “consensus.” I believe we’ve moved beyond that, which is why I also believe we can develop community blogs as strong, and increasingly reliable, communication resources.

    Lastly, I’d say that I believe the written word, whether on this blog, in written testimony at a public meeting, or in a newspaper, has potency and can quite hurtful. But I think we’re working on that, too.

    As always, thanks for keeping the discussion going.

    Mon, April 30 at 10:10 am
  47. Ryan said,

    Lee – you are obviously very personally invested in opposing this project, which is fine. We are all personally invested in this project on one side or the other. The difference is that as WCC representative, you should represent all of us. Not just those whose interests align with your own. I think this is true regardless of which hat you say you are wearing when you write on this blog, speak at Skanska meetings, or speak at WCC meetings. I think understanding that principle is the burden of accepting the mantle of community representation. Again, I might not understand the role of the WCC, but the vigorous and public personal advocacy on your part gives me the perception that the community council for our community only represents the interests of those who agree with you.

    Mon, April 30 at 10:16 am
  48. Dennis said,

    Ryan I think you’re out of line and it seems that you don’t understand the role of the WCC. First, Lee didn’t claim to be speaking for anyone but himself. I didn’t know he was affiliated with the WCC until you mentioned it. Second, the WCC is not an elected body – it’s a group of concerned citizens. They speak for who shows up and hopefully elected officials hold their feedback with that in mind (not a scientific representation of neighborhood concern but that of some committed neighborhood activists).

    I think you owe Lee an apology.

    Mon, April 30 at 10:48 am
  49. coolio said,

    Sometimes a leader represents everyone and yet, after looking at the facts and implications of a project, movement or agenda has to decide onw way- the way that he osr she belive benefit or help or the most fo rthe highest good. A representative is just that .. representative for all ideas, but has soem power as well as personally invested time in examining issues and likely more important larger overview from which decisions and opinions come.

    Mon, April 30 at 11:33 am
  50. Thomas said,

    I think Lee’s comments are fair. On the otherhand, I think Miss Ruby’s comments were grossly offbase given that she was clearly making some unfounded accusations.

    I don’t have strong leanings on this issue but I do have strong feelings about the way that Miss Ruby is conducting herself. It seems that there’s a bit of a smear campaign going on here.

    The city can be very tempted to bend over backwards for a corporation that has money. That’s not the same as saying that the corporation is bribing the city.

    I hope that the Skanska team is more careful in the way that they characterize neighbors comments. It’s fair for people to relay strong feelings about this issue on either side but it can start to really hurt a community not to mention an organization when we unfairly put words in their mouth.

    Mon, April 30 at 11:36 am
  51. Katherine said,

    To give you an idea of the neighborhood concerns with this issue, here are some stats.

    In the fall, in response to the Determination of Non-Significance, the city received 118 letters. 91 of those letters — 77% of the letters — were from people who raised concerns about the height, bulk and scale.

    In response to the MUP application, as of the end of February, there were a grand total of 91 letters from neighbors. 81 of the letters raised concerns about the height, bulk and scale of the building. So 89% of the letters were opposed to the building as it’s currently being proposed.

    At the last Design Review Board meeting, 75 people testified. 50 (or 66%) of the people who testified raised concerns about the height, bulk and scale.

    When the WCC decided to appeal the original DNS decision, a vast majority, if not all, of the members who spoke at their meeting raised concerns about this building.

    Having worked in the non-profit world for over two decades, I’d like to point out that it’s entirely fair for a president of an organization to advocate on an issue especially as an individual and especially when their views align with the majority of their members or community members who have expressed opinions on an issue.

    I respect Lee and others from both sides who have used their first names. Miss Ruby would you be willing to do the same? At the very least, would you be willing to let us know if you have been hired by Skanska to work on their PR?

    Mon, April 30 at 12:18 pm
  52. Miss Ruby said,

    I could certainly see where people who were opposed to something in the neighborhood would be more vocal about their opposition than those who were supportive and assumed it was moving forward as advertised. I don’t think that Katherine’s count is a fair representation of how the community at large feels about the project.

    Mon, April 30 at 4:34 pm
  53. Ryan said,

    @Katherine, there is nothing wrong with people using nicknames or pseudonyms on this blog, it does not mean they are a paid community organizer trying to drum up support for one side or the other. The boogeyman is not lurking on the Wallyhood; its a blog.

    Tue, May 1 at 7:19 am
  54. Donn said,

    For me the question is, are they getting their money’s worth? That’s why I’m thinking Fremont Dock. I’m not pro-Skanska here, but I do respect them as an organization with high professional standards.

    Tue, May 1 at 8:46 am
  55. coolio said,

    Did anyone go to the meeting last night?
    Is the Fremont Dock a second site possibility for Skansa?

    Tue, May 1 at 7:01 pm
  56. Dennis said,

    Coolio – the Fremont Dock Company (Suzie Burke) is the owner of the land the project will be built on along with a sizable chunk of the Fremont and Wallingford.

    Tue, May 1 at 8:28 pm
  57. Nancy M said,

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018116748_skanska02.html

    Tue, May 1 at 8:33 pm
  58. coolio said,

    bummer, I knew the money would win, Thanks for link Nancy.
    So then will it be where the Fremont Dock that bar is? Or where Subway is or take on both sides of street and also corner?

    Tue, May 1 at 8:39 pm
  59. Neighbor2You said,

    And my thanks to Nancy, too, for posting the link.

    Not sure how to interpret “I knew the money would win” comment, and actually, that’s related to some of the earlier exchanges above about the content of neighborhood blogs. While not an outright accusation of misdoing, it reads to me like it has a pretty strong inference (and is consistent with other posts about how money can “buy” a specific outcome) so I’m just curious….do others interpret it that way?

    And to my knowledge, the proposed site is the northeast corner of the block where the Subway is now.

    Wed, May 2 at 5:30 am
  60. Donn said,

    I have attended a couple of the hearings, but not this one. As I understand it, this is a volunteer board, and at the hearings I attended they looked pretty good and I don’t think they have anything to be embarrassed about. If I’m right, though, they are not normally charged with enforcing zoning regulations, or overriding exemptions from zoning regulations based on legislation that hasn’t been presented to the city council yet, or whatever the situation actually is, and my guess was that this outcome was really a foregone conclusion. Though it would have been great to see this project put out of its misery here.

    I don’t think it’s a place where the money has played the kind of role we’ve been talking about – and I don’t think it’s a place where our community input has played a primary role either. Their customary job is to look at massing, visual transitions, street level activity, etc., and recommend changes. They did so, Skanska responded. Where the money really plays its role, and where they ought to be listening to the community, is in the planning offices. I don’t expect they’re ever likely to come out of their offices and appear in a public meeting like the DRB does, but in theory they get the input we’ve mailed to them.

    Wed, May 2 at 7:39 am
  61. Thomas said,

    @Ryan. I think it’s fair for the people to ask for Miss Ruby’s affiliation when she had no problem listing Lee’s (then putting unfounded words in his mouth) when he was clearly writing as an individual. Even if it’s a blog, there is something to be said for fairness and integrity especially when the blog is for a community as lovely as ours.

    Thu, May 3 at 2:25 pm

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