Jamie Pallotti: Dangerous precedent
I am one of the residents that will be impacted by the proposed Brooklyn Bluffs development. A more accurate portrayal of this development is that it’s not infill but an expansion upward and outward onto Emerald Mountain.
Real infill has been occurring organically at the street level the entire 28 years I have lived in Brooklyn. Lots are purchased, and another funky Brooklyn house is added to the neighborhood. It doesn’t involve potential landslides, encroachment on wildlife, 30-foot retaining walls or visual impact to the Emerald hiking and biking trails.
Brooklyn is a unique neighborhood with a lot of character. The zoning laws were created to protect our neighborhoods. This is more than a “not in my back yard” issue.
If one developer is allowed to magically turn the “accessory unit” allowance into small footprint homes then a precedent is set. Let’s not stand zoning laws on their heads simply because this development is called infill.
The Steamboat Today article read more like a public relations release than a news story. Any developer would gladly pay for that storyline. The article completely glosses over the confession by the developers that they will need to “relax a host of other zoning requirements.”
Exactly which zoning requirements will be “relaxed?” Will the city require that these homes be priced for sale to middle-income families in exchange for permitting numerous variances in the zoning code?
It’s great that the Gooding brothers are back in town to work on the housing issue, but this feel good story won’t keep the hillside from sliding or change the view of 15 houses from Bluff trail. Calling this infill certainly won’t change the fact that the habitat of the deer, bears and mountain lions in the area will be destroyed.
I would encourage the planning department, residents of Old Town and users of the Emerald trails to pay attention. If this project is allowed to go forward, a dangerous precedent will be set in which our zoning laws and open space become subservient to any developer with a new idea and a good PR spin.
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