Josh mentioned outgoing city council president Richard Conlin's letter assailing the process that led to a dispute over heights in Roosevelt earlier this week, but I thought it was worth laying out his case in further detail---if only because the usually mild-mannered Conlin accuses the city of "botching" the zoning process and failing to give the neighborhood "clear goals and guidelines" for future development.

Neighborhood activists protested a city proposal  to increase maximum heights on three blocks adjacent to Roosevelt High School to 65 feet, from the current limit of 40, arguing that taller buildings would block views from the school and present a potential public safety risk. In his letter, Conlin says the city should have increased maximum densities near the station as soon as it was relocated from the freeway to the neighborhood instead of waiting until this year to propose a major upzone.

Additionally, Conlin takes on neighborhood activists who say the city council has failed to "listen to the neighborhood" or respect its wishes. Noting that the neighborhood planning process is advisory, not binding, Conlin calls such accusations "both a misread of the role of neighborhood planning and demeaning to the civic dialogue.

He adds: "The City Council has the legal responsibility for making decisions; neighborhood planning is an opportunity for the community to help shape those decisions by developing proposals for the Council to consider."