Archive for September 5th, 2007

by jhwygirl

Renee Mitchell showed her knowledge and savvy regarding Missoula City Council’s duties and responsibilities in her Q&A posted in today’s Missoulian.

Q: Name one recent council decision you agree with and explain why.

A: Allowing a zoning variance for Russ’ Body and Paint so they could remodel their shop made perfectly good sense; it will help the business and their plans to hide the “bone yard” and shows that they have concern for neighboring businesses and residents.

I had to go check this out to figure out where she went wrong. Was it a rezoning application or was it a variance application?

Knowledge and savvy #1 – “allowing a zoning variance” – City Council doesn’t DO variances. Those are the job of the Board of Adjustments.

Knowledge and savvy #2 – “allowing a zoning variance” – zoning variances aren’t permitted in the City. In fact, they are frowned upon basically everywhere. Zoning variances are rezonings without the rezoning substructure done. Zoning variances result in spot-zoning – a bad thing if you happen to live next to or near something like that. Zoning variances don’t meet Comprehensive Plans, are poor planning, and end up being nightmares for future development of the property – for both the property owner and neighbors.

If Ms. Mitchell thinks that variances which change zoning uses are a way to keep it all good with the neighborhood and surrounding business – well, let’s just say I’m glad she isn’t running in my ward.

Russ’s Body and Paint Shop was rezoned after hearings before the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board and City Council. Russ’s Body and Paint Shop applied for a rezoning, and after careful consideration to both the neighbors and the City Comprehensive Plan, a recommendation was sent forward by the Consolidated Planning Board to rezone the property after which City Council approved the request.

There was no variance – variances, like I mentioned above, are the job of the Board of Adjustment.

Maybe Renee Mitchell, candidate for Ward 5 needs to attend a few more council meetings to figure out what it is that City Council does. I mean, if they only thing she could think of that City Council did, that she agreed with, happened on August 13th, you have to wonder how many council meetings she’s even bothered to notice.

by Pete Talbot

The wait is over, sort of, for an opinion page editor at the Missoulian. The paper’s business reporter/editor, Tyler Christensen, will take over the opinion page helm when a new business reporter/editor is hired. Let’s hope it’s soon. Some of those guest editorials are starting to bug me, except the progressive ones, of course.

Tyler is a woman, for those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her. When I first saw her byline I made the boneheaded assumption that Tyler was a man and left a message for “him” when I was trying to hawk a story idea.

In other print media news, long time Missoula Independent editor Brad Tyer will be leaving the paper. He’ll be staying in Missoula and freelancing. I hope the Indy can find someone of his caliber to take over the post.

Ward One candidate Justin Armintrout has his website up: Last month we posted Ward One’s Jason Wiener and Ward Four’s Denver Henderson. Any local candidates or issues out there that we’ve missed and would like to be mentioned at 4&20?

In my piece yesterday on the Stimson log yard I neglected to link readers to some excellent background stories done by 4&20’s very own jhwygirl. In chronilogical order, here’s the first one, here’s a follow up and here’s another, but then she just posted with more intel in the comments here.

That’s all for now, folks.

by Rebecca Schmitz

Predictably, Montana G.O.P. Executive Director Chris Wilcox had this to say about Senator John Edwards’ visit to Missoula:

…[he] was not coming “to hear what Montanans have to say about the issues,” but merely planned a Montana pit stop to raise money that will be spent elsewhere.

Maybe. But Republicans do things differently, right? Well, the public had to pay to listen to Republican front runner and fund raiser extraordinaire Mitt Romney at the party’s convention in June.

Convention delegates will receive tickets to attend the Romney speech and breakfast as part of their registration fee. Members of the public are welcome, with tickets for breakfast and the speech costing $50 apiece.

Fifty dollars? Man. Romney, unlike Edwards, didn’t come cheap. Why did Mitt drop by the Red Lion in Helena?

A spokeswoman said Romney is making a point to hit campaign stops throughout the West.

Right. Completely different than Senator Edwards’ fund raising speech in Missoula. Maybe Chris will let us know if all the money Governor Romney raised while making a brief appearance in Helena will be spent solely in Montana.

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