A report in the Feb. 25 issue of the Redlands Community News focused on efforts made by various consultants, council members and officials to convince skeptical residents that there will be no high-density high-rises in Transit Village areas.
The easiest and most effective way to reassure a doubting public would be to publicly endorse the Growth Management Initiative sponsored by Redlanders for Responsible Growth Management and supported by the Friends of Redlands, a local civic group concerned with protecting the historic charm of downtown Redlands.
The initiative would limit building heights to 40 feet in the Downtown and University of Redlands Transit Villages areas, prevent buildings taller than two stories next to single-story homes without the consent of the owner of the single-story home, increase parking requirements over what is specified in the Transit Villages plan, and replace a 4/5 council vote enabling density exceptions with a 5/5 council vote.
This is necessary so four city council members could not override the objections of a fifth council member opposing its location. This makes every voting district equally powerful. If the City signed onto this, it would provide the reassurance the public needs.
We want the Jewel of the Inland Empire to remain just that. Smart, well thought-out development that enhances our historical downtown rather than devouring it, would be welcomed.
Dana Strunk, Redlands