Point Ruston then presented the details of their development plan for the lower site (not Stack Hill). I won’t go into the details here, but they were very through. The owner of the Silver Cloud Hotels was even on hand to express his excitement at a very well-thought out plan. At about 8:45 pm the new town planner went through his recommendations. I’ll scan them in tomorrow, but he felt the application was adequate and recommended that more language be included in the actual plan (that will become the zoning code for this site) to reflect more of what was presented in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and other documents.
At about 9:05, the public was allowed to comment. Here’s a brief summary:
- Jim Wingard supported the plan and encouraged quick action after so many years of struggle.
- Sherri Forch also supported the plan. She liked the Baltimore Street connection, the promenade connection that linked to Ruston Way, wanted the hotel and liked the open space. She ended with: “Thank you Mike Cohen for what you’ve done.”
- Bill Walker presented some material he said was from the Consent Decree between Asarco and the EPA. He wanted clarification about what the final elevations will be at the end of the remediation.
- Connie Maglione supported the plan. She had observed a real give and take between the developer and the town, like the Baltimore Street connection and more views corridors than proposed under the old plan. She felt it was time to move forward.
- Beth Torbet supported the plan wholeheartedly. She’s been a resident for 25 years, this development has been a long time coming and asked the commission to move forward as fast as they can.
- I spoke in favor of the plan, especially having the retail core in Ruston. I compared this plan to the 1997 plan and felt the new plan far exceeded anything we could have dreamed of back then.
- Jon Anderson encouraged the commission to take their time and not be rushed.
- John Trueman supported the plan. He is a former business owner in Ruston, still owns commercial property in Ruston and is a commercial real estate appraiser. His comments were so well spoken that I'm going to transcribe them for you tomorrow.
- Jobs For Justice had two people speak that objected to the plan because it was not protective enough of health and safety. They want an analysis of the high income people that will be moving in and the low income workers that will be employed there,
Public comment was then closed and the meeting continued until 7 pm tomorrow night when the commission will begin their deliberations. The public can observe but can no longer comment or speak privately to commission members.
Please attend tomorrow if you can. It will be interesting to hear what their concerns are and how they are leaning. The future of this project rests with these 5 people now. ~ Karen