Being a member of a city council is always a challenge, but it seems extra hard to be serving on the Redlands council this year.
We disagree with the premise of Bill Cunningham’s latest slow-growth initiative that would require unanimous council approval of any building that exceeds three stories. Requiring unanimity could lead to such a critical decision to just one council member, putting too much power in the hands of one person.
The question is whether a development would pencil out under that arbitrary limitation.
It’s amazing the six-story building at State and Eighth streets built 30 years ago remains the target of public scorn, and ironic that Redlands has decided to make it the new City Hall.
We agree with supporters’ concern over the Village Partners Ventures plan to build 722 apartments within the old mall footprint. That’s too many.
Although critics of Redlands often cite a shortage of parking in downtown Redlands, many protest the six-story parking garage as a monstrosity. More parking is essential, but six stories seem excessive.
However, the worst possible outcome is to leave the forlorn mall site to sit empty any longer than necessary. Let’s revive the heart of downtown Redlands as soon as possible. Our town is filled with bright people who can negotiate solutions to complex problems. This has been the biggest problem in Redlands for more than a decade. Let’s solve it now.
We encourage the city of Redlands to form a working group to resolve the disputes and find middle ground between what works as a transit village and what preserves the character and quality of the Jewel of the Inland Empire.
Let’s work together to keep it shining.