Opinion Archives for 2018-01

Until public comment is restored


By Chesla Anschutz





I have questions and concerns, but as of late my voice has been muffled by the removal of public comment at Sturgeon Bay city meetings as well as lack of council representation in my District (2).  So I share them here, as a Letter to the Editor, in hopes that you the readers will also use this venue to be heard, for this is our only avenue of communication UNTIL PUBLIC COMMENT IS RESTORED AT OUR CITY MEETINGS.

____________________________________________

January 29, 2018

 

Mayor Birmingham and Common Council,

Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Dietman

and

Finance, Purchasing & Building Committee:

 

Subject: Dismantling and disposition of our historical granary

 

Will the pieces of the granary be sold to the highest bidder?  And will the pieces be sold separately or will priority be given to keeping the granary whole? So that it can be reassembled and retain as much of its historical value as possible? My personal feeling is that our city fathers (staff and committees) need to work toward keeping all the pieces together. The fact that it will be dismantled and moved from its original location already devalues the structure historically.  I liken this to a family of children under adoption.  It is paramount that they not be separated from their siblings.  I advise that the Wisconsin Historical Society be contacted for recommendations on qualified appraisers prior to razing. I'd also like to remind you they are still waiting to hear form you.

 

Will the City and Fire Chief allow someone qualified and knowledgeable of the inner equipment, mechanisms and such, i.e. the grain dryer, to document and appraise these parts prior to the dismantling?  If not, is there currently a documented list somewhere of these items?  This is necessary so that when these items are sold, the city and potential buyers are aware of their monetary and historical value.

 

Respectfully,


Chesla Seely-Anschutz

Until Public Comment is Restored

By Paul Anschutz


I have written this letter to the plan commission and am sharing as a Letter To The Editor, for this is the course of action which needs to transpire due the fact public participation has been taken away from community members. This is a very important topic for reasons stated in my letter. I encourage anyone in the community with concerns to also write letters to committee members and staff, and share them as I have as a Letter To The Editor, for this is our only avenue of communication UNTIL PUBLIC COMMENT IS RESTORED AT OUR CITY MEETINGS.

_________________________________________________________________

To: Chairman Wiesner and Plan Commission Members

The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission is currently considering a 64 unit planned unit development, Tall Pines Estate on Egg Harbor Road (the old Kruger Property). I attended a Sturgeon Bay Finance Committee meeting on December 26th, not knowing that the Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission already had an initial meeting on Dec. 20th concerning the 64 unit development. At the SB Finance Committee meeting on the 26th, during Public Comment, I stated that the City Of Sturgeon Bay has a limited number of parcels left for development within the city proper. I then asked that we as a city through our elected officials, appointed committee members and staff need to work in a positive way towards a walkable community by creating an ordinance requiring new developers to be responsible for installing sidewalks in their development and for connecting to surrounding neighborhoods.

Back in August at the Plan Commission's monthly meeting I presented the need for sidewalks at the Amity Field property development which would create connectivity to Egg Harbor Road. I also stated that sidewalks are an integral part of development for communities to consider during initial planning phases, also that the City Of Sturgeon Bay needs in its toolbox an ordinance that requires sidewalks for developers. Fast forward to December 20th there was no public participation allowed on the agenda item concerning the new Tall Pines Estate 64 unit development.

Prior to the SB Finance Committee meeting on the 26th, I spoke with Bob Starr who sits on the plan commission and asked what his thoughts on requiring sidewalks for new developments were. He stated he, "needed to weigh both sides." I really believe the time has come, seeing that we are about to develop a very important piece of property next to Egg Harbor road where sidewalks have made our community much more multi-modal friendly. I stated these reasons for sidewalks during the finance committee meeting where I specifically asked for an ordinance change.

The following points make the argument for requiring planned walkable communities:

1. Sidewalks provide for safer routes for pedestrians to enjoy walking or jogging and can encourage those healthy activities among city residents.

2. Sidewalks and connected, well-maintained pedestrian networks allow citizens the ability to safely and conveniently patronize local shops, businesses, and restaurants, increase property values and will promote tourism.

3. Walking and bicycling can encourage fewer short automobile trips, reducing emissions, while providing inexpensive opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to stay socially connected and engaged and to stay fit.

4. Communities and their downtowns that are walkable are capturing a greater share of tourist dollars, as visitors are interested in experiencing community life. Visitors and residents alike feel a greater sense of community pride.

Mayor Jim Schmitt of Green Bay said this on sidewalk installations. "We as a city are obligated to provide a safe place to walk. It is part of running a city or municipality. It's expensive, but if you can get health and safety out of it, it's a pretty good investment."

Also see SIDEWALKS Fact Sheet from AARP Walkable and Livable Communities Institute

https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/documents-2014/Livability%20Fact%20Sheets/Sidewalks-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Respectfully submitted,

Paul Anschutz

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