electrical bike The Saga of the Historic Landmarks Fee and Bike Share
Because the vice-chair of town’s Historic Landmarks Fee (HLC), I really feel as if Cameron Grey, creator of a Voice shaming the HLC, and I attended totally different HLC conferences. It’s exhausting to know, since our conferences are digital — he can see my face on the display, however I can’t see his. The minutes of the conferences clearly mirror that we didn’t discover “your complete bikeshare venture incompatible with El Pueblo Viejo,” nor did we mandate that the docks needed to be a particular coloration, and we had been amenable to accepting the black coloration as introduced.
It’s actually disappointing that extra effort wasn’t put into understanding the purview of the HLC and reflecting the dialogue on the two prior opinions at HLC previous to the final word movement for a denial. I can solely go on the data given to us on the conferences, and what I be taught by way of others. However briefly, it goes like this:
Lengthy earlier than the pandemic, the Metropolis Council permitted the bike-share program and the contract with BCycle. In February of this 12 months, the Downtown Parking Committee by was suggested by senior employees that “places for the docks will have to be recognized, studied, and permitted by the Historic Landmarks Fee … ” That is in keeping with the obligations of the HLC as specified by the Metropolis of Santa Barbara Municipal Code, and every commissioner is individually appointed by the Metropolis Council to uphold these obligations.
If, because the op-ed suggests, council licensed employees to find out the places with out HLC approval, that is the primary I’m listening to of this. From employees making the presentation, from HLC employees, or from anybody. Over three hearings. We maintain town employees to the identical requirements of presentation as we might maintain every other applicant.
Our purview is solely the aesthetics of El Pueblo Viejo, the historic core of Santa Barbara. When the State Road Plaza was redone years in the past with new brick paving and landscaping, we reviewed and permitted the situation and design of each bench, newspaper rack, fountain, planter, and recycling container. The article laments that the HLC gave no consideration of local weather motion objectives and clear transportation and that we didn’t acknowledge the pandemic, the fireplace season, and racial inequality. Whereas certainly a few of that was acknowledged in dialogue, the purpose is that these points are exterior of our purview and an inappropriate foundation for findings we’re required to make to approve an utility. Our conferences are lengthy sufficient already!
Talking alone behalf, and never presuming to talk for the entire of the Fee, I used to be advantageous with the black coloration. There have been strategies made for modifications to deliver the bike docks extra into compliance with El Pueblo Viejo’s Design Tips, however we had been suggested that any modifications, together with altering the colour, could be an extra expense that must be borne by town. As one commissioner deadpanned, it reminded one among Henry Ford’s well-known quote in regards to the Mannequin T, “You’ll be able to have any coloration you need, so long as it’s black.”
My largest concern is that the BikeShare program was conceived and agreed to earlier than the pandemic, again when State Road served each vehicles and bikes, and pedestrians stayed on the sidewalks. A whole lot of those bike docks are proposed on State Road sidewalks, and it appears solely prudent in gentle of the pandemic and the closure of State Road to vehicles, that we again up and rethink whether or not that is one of the best location for bike docks. Now we have by no means objected to this system, per se, and made quite a few strategies as to alternate options. But employees returned 3 times, with no change by any means to their proposal. And after we discovered that there was documented acknowledgement within the minutes of a metropolis committee that HLC would want to overview and approve the places, however employees was unwilling to current a set of plans exhibiting proposed places, resentment grew that we had been being pressured to rubber-stamp their plan. Absent any concessions on the a part of employees, denial appeared the one possibility.
We stay open and receptive to additional dialogue with employees and are additionally dissatisfied and saddened that we felt we had no various to disclaim. We agree with the creator of the article in regards to the significance of a livable local weather and clear transportation, however to “mirror on our position and obligation to facilitate local weather motion” shouldn’t be a part of the outline of our purview. So please, let’s sit down and talk about, reasonably than assail us for abdicating our duty to our group.