Teardown moratorium sets a bad precedent for city

I came to know Councilmember Linea Palmisano as we crossed paths on the campaign trail all summer and into the fall. She’s incredibly hard-working and a friendly person to boot. It’s with great respect, then, that I wonder what in the world she was thinking last week when she ambushed our neighborhoods with a ban on constructing houses.  

There are legitimate concerns arising out of rapid redevelopment in our neighborhoods. Fair enough. Let’s have a neighborhood-wide discussion and address those concerns with the scalpel of intelligent zoning ordinances rather than the hacksaw of an outright ban on building any houses whatsoever. 

Furthermore, our elected officials imposed this ban without notice or an opportunity to comment. Sure, there’s now a chance to discuss as the Council considers whether to extend for a full year the ban already in place, but the Council is setting a scary precedent: first, abuse your power to impose your will; afterwards, invite comment from the people whose livelihood you’ve already threatened and property rights you’ve already trampled. Is this the U.S.? Or Venezuela?  

By proposing this ban while City Hall takes its sweet time working up new regulations, elected officials are asking the real world to work at the pace of City Hall. City Hall should work at the pace of the real world. 

I urge the City Council to hear the outrage of its citizens and vote against continued imposition of the ban on construction.  

Cam Winton