Archive for July 9th, 2007

by jhwygirl

Ward 2 Councilman John Hendrickson bit back at tonight city council meeting, attacking critics of his amendment (at July 2nd’s city council meeting) which removed the West Broadway corridor from the Northside/Westside Neighborhood Plan Update.

The neighborhood plan, which underwent years of comment and input from community and public leaders, has cost Missoula taxpayers $15,000 in study fees and additional funding of an enormous amount of staff time.

Hendrickson, who campaigned in 2005 on an anti-Broadway road diet theme, made the amendment to remove West Broadway from the plan in an effort to eliminate any input that the neighborhood plan would have with any future decisions facing the city on efforts within the West Broadway corridor.

Neighborhood Plans, much like Comprehensive Plans, provide an informal guide to city staff, board members and elected officials when making decisions in any given area. They do not, on their own, provide the same legal standing as a zoning ordinance, but Missoula has utilized them as tools to reinforce a long term ‘vision’ for the city, helping to keep the city focused on greater goals over the long term.

Tonight, in defending himself from critics in city council, local government, and the public, Hendrickson said that “as far as spending $15,000 on the update, there are no guarantees that when we do impact plans or studies that we will get our desired results. And it wouldn’t be the first time that we spent $ unwisely.”

Note to John Hendrickson: When one does a study, one doesn’t presuppose an outcome to said studies. Studies are expected to analyze a situation without prejudice.

Hendrickson went yet further in his own defense, calling for the 4-lane on West Broadway to be revised to “eliminate parking, bikes lanes or both so that the 4-lane could become a reality. And that the 4-lane could be implemented sooner than the 11 to 20 years as called for in the charette vision plan.”

Nice. No parking OR bike lanes. Now that’s community transportation planning at its best!

At July 2nd’s council meeting, Hendrickson clung mightily to his petition from West Broadway businesses (he claims to have 25 signatures), defending those businesses for not having participated in the Northside/Westside Plan Update meetings by subtly accusing the Office of Planning & Grants (OPG) of not sending out neighborhood notices to the businesses for any of the 4 public meetings that were held. He further questioned the sign-in sheets for the meetings, saying they were “questionable – OPG explained it and I take them at their word – but – it still raises a question.”

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