At this week upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 12, there is an item on the Consent Agenda that took me by suprise!
There is a Resolution for a contractural agreement between the City and Urban Design Associates (UDA). This is the same company that created the Interim Design Guidelines (IDG) that put it’s stamp of approval on the controversial downtown building “The Mark”.
The request for this item comes from a Memo (see attached below) from the City Manager dated April 16, 2015, which was prior to the UDA presentation to the City in a public workshop on April 30th, 2015. Numerous residents spoke out against the IDG/Pattern Book.
The April 30th presentation clearly revealed what is now a questionable outcome for the one completed project that UDA is responsible for fully endorsing. Even Mayor Susan Haynie was quoted in an article by Randy Schultz in Boca Magazine as saying “If (the Mark) is what we get from the guidelines, there’s something wrong.”
The City has provided UDA with enough time and City treasure to prove their worth. In spite of this the result has been the development of a project with aesthetics that have been criticized by the public, government officials and development professionals alike.
We should be asking the The City not to engage UDA until a full reevaluation of the relationship between UDA and the City has occurred. Such reevaluation to include citizen input in a full Public Hearing to include Interim Design Guidelines and the Pattern Book before further engagement with UDA.
It is counter intuitive to “reward” an entity that has thus far failed in its mission to contribute to high quality development for our city.
If this concerns you contact your city officials
Mayor Susan Haynie – email@example.com
Deputy Mayor Robert Weinroth – firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilman Mike Mullaugh – email@example.com