Monday, October 06, 2008

Blog #29 Letter from the Mayor on Mixed Use Overlay Meeting of September 27, 2008

Letter from Mayor Mary Ann Maggiore to the Planning Commission and to the Citizens of Fairfax Following the September 27 Public Workshop on the PC's
Proposed Mixed Use Overlay Zone Ordinance

Friends and Neighbors:

I was unable to reach the IJ reporter before the paper went to print. So I was unable to offer my thoughts to Mr. Rogers, the IJ reporter, who was not at the meeting he reported upon. However, since so many of you have written and called consistently these last days and for the weeks preceding the Saturday workshop, I feel I need to offer a few words. I still believe that the intention of the Planning Commission to frame a document that might help us plan the Town's central corridor and provide for affordable housing, is given a more than adequate framework in this document. But tempers have run high.

Let us pause a minute and consider. Let us calm down and salute both our fears and our needs. Let us also salute the people who worked hard to create a document that we can use. Let us ponder in ourselves what we want from this document. We can adapt it. We can make it one that specifically states there will be no more than X number of affordable dwellings. We can protect view corridors. We can shape meeting areas. We can plan our future instead of having it planned for us. I was, and I am, still excited by the prospect that we could design and see to fruition a model entity that would serve us well and encourage others to treasure Small Town essence in places all over the country, all over the world.

That is what I had hoped for in the meeting. That we would state want we didn't want -- yes. But that we would move gracefully toward what we do want. That is why I created the Roundtable set-up, so everyone could be heard and that is why I offered a chance for talk back and a break for discussion and coffee. And then more discussion.

I think the time we take to look at our thoughts and our feelings and how they may injure others and ourselves, is very important right now. Let us take the heat out of the conversation and go forward with a look to what works, what protects us, what we value. What we are willing to work peaceably and effectively for. And let us from those reasoning’s and considerations, help to make a plan for the Town that will satisfy both our dreams and our realities.

Mary Ann Maggiore
Mayor of Fairfax