Letter: An important role
January 12, 2016
The City Council is confused about the role of the city community development director, as someone who solely implements the land-use code — that's the council's stated reason for not getting involved in this important position. In fact, the land-use code, as the council should know, allows major decision-making by the community development director and the department itself.
First, there is administrative decision-making, which includes a large number of land-use decisions that start and end in the Community Development Department. Second, the code allows massive discretion by the community development director, including sole discretion about whether a land-use application might avoid a rezoning through the favorable planned-unit-development process. To characterize this authority as mere "implementation of the land-use code" is inaccurate and suggests that some on the council may not have even a rudimentary understanding of the land-use code and the function of the community development director.