Planning Commission Approves 28-foot Building Height Limit

I covered the meeting yesterday at which the county’s planning commission approved at 28-foot limit on building heights.

Ron Rada, who recently filed as a write-in candidate for the Port of Manchester, attended that meeting. As I was interviewing him today, I asked him how he felt about the PC’s decision.
“That’s just super as far as I’m concerned,” Rada said.

Regarding Lary Coppola’s comments that development of design standards for Manchester was not done in a “fair and open” public process, Rada volunteered, “I think he was way off base. The gals who put that committee together (Carol Leininger and Carrilu Thompson) went overboard, as far as I was concerned, to try to get community input.”

How about it, blog readers? Did you feel left out of the loop, or that your thoughts, particularly on the prickly issue of building heights, were not being heard? Or do you agree with Rada that the people heading up the design standards committee made a good faith effort to be inclusive?

Incidentally, I didn’t have room in the article to include a comment from Philip Fletcher, the county planner who was on the hot seat with the PC yesterday. In response to to Coppola’s comments, Fletcher said that the county had followed the rules that were required and that legal staff are confident the process could withstand an appeal. Then he made a more offhand comment — First, you have to know that the whole planning commission took a field trip to Manchester before the meeting yesterday and had lunch at a local eatery — At the meeting Fred Depee had just suggested that the PC make an “out of the ordinary effort” to reach out to those who did not feel sufficiently included in the process. And Fletcher said, “We just did that. We went to the community, and we went to the tavern. Five o’clock tonight everyone in the community will know about this.”

Would that be what you’d call “glass roots politics?”

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