City council decided action about funding and contracting structural developments and utilities, and approved Code SMTX, a new development code that the city has long been working to adopt.
During the meeting, the room was so full that the spectators in the lobby has to watch it on a mounted T.V. Many were there only to see the discussion, but others were present to voice their opinions about the code.
One primary concern was the neighborhood character studies that have long been a contention. The development code aims to increase the prosperity of the city while preserving the well-being of permanent and low-income residents as well as historic properties.
The neighborhood character studies are a method in which sensitive areas can be defined and considered. Attendees in favor of the code cited the need for progressive development guidelines.
The council voted 6-1 to adopt the code. Mayor John Thomaides said that the lack of consensus at the meeting was a good thing.
“Not everybody is happy with every part of the code and that’s exactly how it should be.” Thomaides said.
The council was careful to acknowledge that the rules of the new code were not set in stone. Council member Lisa Prewitt said the document will be fluid.
“Remember that this is a living, breathing document” Prewitt said.
Council member Ed Mihalkanin was the sole negative vote.
“This has been very difficult- I’m very concerned about what could be allowed in some neighborhoods,” Mihalkanin said. “I’m very, very uneasy with what could happen in the future.”