In an open letter, Avondale’s mayor defends decision to support Trammell Crow projectJonathan Elmore
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Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore is defending the City Commission’s 4-1 decision to support a mixed-use development project in the city.
At its Aug. 30 meeting, commissioners approved the rezoning and agreement needed for the Trammell Crow project to move forward.
The project will be located on Maple Street and East College Avenue. It includes a 270-unit apartment complex and 7,100 square feet of future commercial space.
The project had been rejected by the city’s Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board.
Elmore said the views of those board were considered in the final decision. Here is his full letter to residents:
When the Board of Mayor and Commissioners each swore an oath to enforce the Charter and Ordinances of the City of Avondale Estates, as well as act in the best interest of the City, we each did so with the knowledge that no decision, choice, or vote was guaranteed to be an easy one. We did not take a pledge to only decide the easy things. We ran for office with the promise we would listen to all sides and make decisions for the betterment of Avondale Estates.
For months we have discussed, debated, and considered a proposal by Trammell Crow Residential. The proposal brought with it opportunity for growth in our downtown area, the promise of increased sustainability for our businesses, and the chance to redevelop land and property that sat empty for far too long. As with any opportunity, there are consequences and sacrifices the BOMC had to face in making this decision. No decision making opportunity is perfect.
Aiding us in the decisions we make are the strong and knowledgeable individuals who make up the advisory boards and commissions that first hear requests and proposals such as this one. These volunteers seriously consider the aspects of proposals and make recommendations based on their findings in the preceding hearings that are more focused on specific aspects of the proposal. The recommendations they forward to the BOMC are not ignored or pushed aside, but are given full consideration with the breadth of information studied by the five elected officials making the final decision. It is never an easy prospect to overturn the well-thought out and researched opinions of these boards and should not be considered a slight to the men and women who volunteer their time and share their incredible knowledge and skill with us.
While the process of development can be long and arduous when we look at a proposal from concept to completion, the steps the City has in place worked in this case. There is always room for improvement, something we will undertake as we consider rewriting our zoning code and clarifying the future of development in Avondale Estates.
This discussion, debate, and decision have brought out the passion of our residents both for and against this particular development. It is that passionate commitment to Avondale Estates and its sense of community that will drive us in the decisions we make and the future we all want to be bright, bountiful, and sustainable for our City.
With best regards,
Mayor of Avondale Estates
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