Home Stretch for the Demo Delay

Last night I felt like the President.

Not Bush. Andrew Shepherd.

For the first time, the RTM took up the latest draft of the Demolition Delay ordinance and one member of the public noted it was severely watered down from previous versions. Much like the president’s crime bill, this was beginning to be legislation without teeth and I have to say, she had a point.

The meeting itself went fairly well, zipping through agenda items 2-11 without much comment or problem. Then, around 8:45 we got to item 12 and the ordinance. The comment from the Body was interesting as people from across both sides of the aisle talked about what good any delay will do and why 60 days? Does the town really need preserving and is 100 year old homes really the right benchmark.

An amendment was proposed, adding in a sunset clause, forcing the body to see if this was working or not in three years. I vigorously endorsed it since that gave the town time to update its Historic Survey of homes in town and we could switch from 100 year old homes to those homes list on the survey, minimizing the impact. In a bipartisan vote, it went down 19-23.

When it was the public’s turn, all the usual people from our committee meetings spoke. The realtors were against it. The preservationists for it since we had to start somewhere. No member of the public added their opinion.

Per our Rules to Regulate, the ordinance stands over to next month where we should vote on it and then the long process may come to an end one way or another. Now, do I think it will pass? I told the Connecticut Post before last night I saw it as 50-50 odds. After the meeting, I’m thinking 60-40 against but we’ll see what happens as people talk to one another and have a chance to mull over what they heard.

Unlike Andrew Shepherd I’m not so busy trying to keep my job that I forgot to do my job. Instead, I’ve chaired a committee that has tried to do its best. As for the election, we’ll see what my district thinks in November.

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