Like most issues in life, the G1 has both merit and flaws. It is legislation that strives to control signage and preserve historic buildings in the main corridors leading to town. Few will disagree with this effort to ensure the aesthetic characteristics of our community. The flaw in the G1 is that it reaches beyond regulating signs and historic preservation. It takes 165 residential properties and 50 professional properties and rezones them for commercial use. That has the potential of destabilizing established neighborhoods. Citizens will be asked to vote on a map that makes the G1 zone a reality. It is in the best interest of this community to vote “no.” Once the G1 map fails, I urge City Council to rework the map and the zone by allowing the private residences and the professional properties to remain as they are currently zoned. Create a zone that preserves historic structures, controls for signage, regulates the upkeep of rental properties and protects existing walkable downtown neighborhoods. Fully engage the property owners involved in an open, inclusive, transparent process. By abdicating the education about the G1 to those feeling most threatened, Council has inadvertently created a climate of fear and confusion.
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