Thank you, City Council, for voting down the Howington project in Kenilworth. I especially liked the speech by Teddy Jordan, president of the Kenilworth Residents Association, because she described the flaws in the democratic process. The main issue is clear: How could the Howington project pass both the TRC and P&Z, yet be voted down — unanimously — by City Council? City Council needs to make five major changes:
1. Add a step in the review process: a Community Review Board.
2. City Council must be required to visit the site of a proposed development and interview the neighbors.
3. CAN must do its job — that is, unite neighborhoods to face common problems, like developers clear-cutting trees and building on steep slopes.
4. The city manager needs to make the law clearer — that is, in this case: “The developer must meet all seven of the conditions.”
5. The Tree Commission needs to do its job — preserve trees.
— Linda Brown