EDITORíS DESK: On the horizon, view a precedent

       That was quite a coup the folks on Mesa Road pulled off a week or so ago at City Council. If you think about it, residents near the Rawles Open Space had to overcome some pretty steep odds to get the majority of council on their side to stop Horizon View as a five-unit development. First there's the NIMBY (not in my backyard) factor, which council members see all the time, plus they know that the Mesa Road residents, adamant about low density, mobilize against developments on a pretty regular basis. There's also the proposed size of the project - how much harm can five units do? Not to mention the fact that the proposal had sailed through planning staff, having met all the zoning requirements. Only an appeal (and $175 to the city) from the Rawles-area residents forced the matter before Planning Commission, which proceeded to unanimously turn them down. Once again the neighbors shelled out $175 for an appeal. And this time, before their elected officials, they managed to build a convincing case that their two-tenths of a mile was worth preserving and that three traditionally platted long lots, instead of the proposed five- lot cul de sac, might just do the job.
       What's also interesting (and a little sad) about this is that a similar situation happened five or so years ago off 21st Street, right across from Bear Creek Park. I'm a big fan of Scott Hente as a councilman, but where were the Rawles Open Space clones back then to downsize his high-density townhome project? I know, there already were townhomes nearby, but there's a consistency issue here. Is buffering open space a city precedent now? It sure wasn't then.

- K.J.