A letter I just sent to City Council

Mayor and council members: I want to call your attention to the Planning Commission meeting this week – specifically the treatment given by some of the commissioners to Tyler Markham, more about a UT student and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. If you watch the video record of the meeting, read I believe you will see a young man who is highly professional trying to make a decent, pills objective, case for something he believes in. For his trouble, he’s treated aggressively and unprofessionally by several members of the Planning Commission. I myself served on the Urban Transportation Commission from 2000-2005, and would never have dreamed of treating a speaker in the way these commissioners have treated Mr. Markham. I urge you to reprimand your appointees and make it clear to them that their behavior was unacceptable.

4 Replies to “A letter I just sent to City Council”

  1. Wow, talk about some tortured logic. Accessory dwelling units cause us to LOSE housing stock because “they displace people living in houses with people from out of town renting the houses instead.” They are short-term rentals inherently (?!) and also somehow tearing down a “small bungalow” and replacing with TWO units causes us to “lose 3% of our housing stock.” Geez, how can someone using that logic to berate a well-informed university student be qualified for public service!?

  2. Jack’s comment is also stupid. If land values increase to reflect the potential to build ADUs, then the logical response would be…a lot of people would start building ADUs! Not “a lot of people lose out a little bit.” I don’t understand how people “lose out” when they get the opportunity to build more on their land (and thus, according to his logic the appraised land value would also increase, as developers would realize this – I don’t know this is inevitable, though it’s possible). In fact, his scenario sounds GREAT for landowners – if they want to remain in the neighborhood, they can build an ADU and make extra money (surely more than the additional property tax) or if they want to leave because ADUs wreck the neighborhood, they can sell for a higher price than they could have otherwise due to “ADU developers inflating land values.” So…it’s a win/win, right? Not a “net-sum game” (I think he means “zero-sum game”?)….

  3. Their opinions are fine. But the way they treated Tyler, who spent a lot of time to come speak respectfully to them, is shameful. And I held myself to the same standard when I was on the UTC – when citizens spent the time to come talk to us, I treated them with kindness and respect, regardless of how smart or dumb; good or evil; informed or uninformed I may have thought their statements.

    1. Yes, certainly. This too! The above opinions (which I feel are sorely misguided) were used in ill-mannered attacks on Tyler, the well-meaning citizen. Totally agree there is no place for this in city government.

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