Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ellis at the council

It's 12:35 a.m., and I still don't know what's happened at the City Council meeting about the Ellis project, which was up for discussion and a possible vote tonight.

But I do know several things about the project:

• It makes no sense to trade home building rights for an aquatics center when a city consultant has recommended closing the existing city pool to save money. Especially when Surland, Ellis' developer, would get the aquatics center land if the city didn't start building there within two years.

• It makes no sense to spend countless staff hours right now figuring out a massive residential expansion when the homes A) can't be built until 2012, and B) we should be using that time to focus on budget balancing and economic revitalization.

• It makes no sense to surround the Tracy Municipal Airport with homes unless there is some sort of ironclad agreement that the airport will be able to operate freely no matter how much the Johnny-come-lately Ellis homeowners complain.

• A comprehensive public transportation model should be in place before Ellis goes forward, because $1.50 gas won't last forever (remember last summer, dontcha?)

• There must be substantiative answers to questions regarding the Jefferson School District's ability to absorb the hundreds of schoolchildren who will one day call the Ellis development home.

• The mock-ups given by Surland to the city and public for perusal look beautiful.

• Ellis can be a good project for the city, if done on the right scale, at the right time and with the right incentives.

Check back later today at www.tracypress.com for Eric Firpo's blow-by-blow account of the Ellis discussion and any City Council action.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your commentary clearly states the pros and cons of the Ellis Project.

Good job.

Carol Blevins
Planning Commissioner

Nick Dykzeul said...

Of all the stupid things the city has done lately, this is definitely up there in the list.

What in the world were they thinking? Did they just want to get done with the meeting and go to sleep?

All that you stated are perfect reasons NOT to approve it. So what's the cities justifications for approving it? Do they not see this?

I don't enjoy saying this, but it seems like the council members were getting some serious kick backs in this case. There is no logical reason to approve the project as it was presented otherwise.

Also, why has the Tracy Press disabled commenting on the article announcing the council's decision?

Anonymous said...

Jon,

Is there a problem with the article on the website on this Ellis thing? The title is all that comes up - no article.