Today, during Citizen's Communication, the mayor spoke about the Northcross development in response to Donna Beth McCormick and others addressing the council about the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter and its myriad of legitimate problems and concerns.
For one of the first times, the mayor addressed this topic. It doesn't necessarily count as an oration using the "bully pulpit," but it is extremely notable in 3 ways:
1. He implies that the Northcross development is NOT what the city prefers.
2. He implies the council is frustrated with the development.
3. He applauds the efforts of citizens pushing for "hopeful amendments, changes and improvements."
Sign up and speak to the council during Citizens Communication. You never know what difference it may make. Sign up on April 19 to speak on May 3 by calling 974-2210, then confirm with kat [at] dukecorrea [dot] com that you got signed up. We can provide suggestions for talking points if you need a little help.
Here is what the Mayor said as best as I could transcribe it:
"That case (Northcross) is very very different than some other examples that we're proud of when you see what's happening around town..."
"This is one of the frustrating cases where we, as an elected, governing body, essentially, are not technically not at the table. We have tried to insert ourselves as best we can."
"...I applaud and appreciate all the time, effort that neighbors continue to put into that effort to see if there can be improvements made, or changes made, to that proposal. This council, I think, virtually on a weekly basis with our zoning votes and projects that we have been approving of the past year or two, I think, sends very strong signals about what this community prefers when it comes to vertical mixed use, when it comes to design standards. We now, of course, have an ordinance on the books whereby a large, big box retail is now a conditional use. And so had this application been filed this week, then there would be discretion for us to likely change what might be built..."