Wednesday, March 10, 2010

news, some of it sad

This article about Jnews in the NYTimes magazine is nuts, and is mostly about Nevada City. Will it now be flooded with trust fund artists? Only time will tell. Sacramento's own Roan Press is mentioned in it because they just put out a book of writer's essays about Joanna Newsom. There's a chapter by Dave Eggers, for example. The publishers of Roan Press are having a reception for the book this second Saturday at Newsbeat.

Speaking of second Saturday, Verge Gallery is moving, and this Saturday is their last reception there. It's the closing reception for the show Haute Romantics, which is composed of young, up-and-coming New York artists. The show is curated by the bloggers behind Art Fag City.

Besides the sadness of the Verge moving, there's some more city sadness. Curtis Park is getting a long, slow reaming from Paul Petrovich. At the planning commission meeting about his huge gross proposal for a development, Petrovich and his ilk got to talk for over an hour and a half of a four hour meeting. Then the planning commission deliberated for about 20 minutes and voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve the development. This is from the SCNA website:

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING?
After a five and a half hour hearing, at 11:15pm, the Planning Commission voted 8-0 to approve
the staff recommendation. The staff recommended support for the general plan amendment and
zoning changes and certification of the final EIR with the following conditions:
1) Enhanced notification to the neighborhood when the revised Remedial Action Plan is made
public.
2) The primary entrances of commercial buildings shall be oriented to the street.
3) Swap the location of the senior housing with the other multifamily housing to locate the senior
housing closer to the main street.
The Planning Commission also recommended that the City's Traffic Division should evaluate and
advise the City Council on the various options for the 10th Avenue connection. Per the normal
established process, the developer will need to come back to the planning director for site plan
review for individual pieces of the development. Any planning director decisions are appealable to the planning commission.
The only request from SCNA that was granted was the request to have the primary entrances of
commercial buildings be oriented to the street. However, the decisions of the Planning
Commission ARE NOT binding. The Council has the last say in how the project will be
developed. There were no conditions placed on the project that would limit the size of the
commercial space or the footprints of buildings. No additional streets were added to make it more of a street grid pattern and there was no requirement for a pedestrian bridge to be built to transit and Sacramento City College. Your voice is needed when this project goes to the City Council on Thursday, April 1, 2010. Please write or e-mail the Mayor and City Council and copy
ncc@sierra2.org.

22 comments:

undercover caterer said...

AAARRRGGGHHHHH I detest Paul Petrobitch and his ugly commercial bullshit! That stupid shopping center on the corner of Freeport and Sutterville still sits half-empty and it's been what, 2 years since it was built?

This development is going to a ton of traffic to already overloaded Freeport and Sutterville and will divert a ton of traffic through the quiet residential streets of Curtis Park.

WTF is all I can say. How the planning asshole can think this is a good idea is beyond me....unless it's all about getting Petrobitch to do the city's dirty work to clean up the railyard area.

I have written the council several times but will do so again.

Snufkin said...

Jesus, isn't he satisfied with the ugly stripmalls and sculptures he's already littered all over the region?

Good luck to Curtis Park - Fair Oaks fought against one of his projects for years and it still got it shoved through in the end. Although the best part about it was his justification that the community should welcome his project because he was planning on including some kind of artistic "tribute" to war vets as part of the Safeway parking lot.

undercover caterer said...

Artistic Tribute = Ugly Silver Animal of some kind

beckler said...

remember how in cosmo's excellent article on this issue he said that one of the sculptures being considered for the curtis park development was of two gorillas playing chess?

http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1300211

Anonymous said...

The curtis park and land park neighborhood associations have tried to fight this and as far as I know he basically told them he was going to screw them at some point.

hurrah more half empty developments!! When will people learn?

-Natalie.

Anonymous said...

Didn't he get some money to make it transit friendly and now he doesn't even have to put in the footbridge?
Lame.

gbomb

Anonymous said...

Where is Verge moving to?

Anonymous said...

I don't know enough about Petrovich's actual project to say if it's bad or good, but developing that area with residential and shopping is a great idea. And I will admit to liking the dumb silver animal sculptures, yes, I would probably even like two gorillas playing chess. From what I've read and heard on NPR about this issue, it seems like people on both sides are being unreasonable at times. A little bit of Curtis Park NIMBY and a lot of Petrovich being an out of touch lunkhead. I did hear one of women against it talking on the radio saying that the neighborhoods of Hollywood Park and Oak Park stand united with them against this development. I thought that was pretty funny thinking of how she probably wouldn't give a shit if something like this was being proposed for Oak Park and vice versa, I don't really think a lot of people in Oak Park care about this.

-H Conway Esq (lover of rediculous silver animal sculptures)

Stephen Glass said...

The NYT has Nevada City pegged as "bucolic" in that article, and just seconds ago the town in which work was described as such. Is this just a new code word involving a mostly stoned community of around 1,400 people or so?

Anonymous said...

Any article called
Paul Petrovich: "I'm a developer. That doesn't mean I'm evil."

Usually proves otherwise.
http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/real_estate/archives/2009/08/petrovich-takes.html

His attitude just pissed me off.
-Natalie.

araon said...

Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
Education

Anonymous said...

I can't help wondering what this will do to my house value. At first it seemed like a great idea to put something in there with my assumption that it was also a great idea to provide access to it that didn't require going in your car. That overpass is a pain in my butt when I want to ride my bike somewhere in that direction. So of course I thought, how great if I didn't have to go over the overpass. Which shows how much I really care about what goes in there I guess. Also arn't we all going to get cancer just from touching the dirt?
jamattack! lowly Hollywood Terrace resident who will actually be far more affected than Hollywood Park.

beckler said...

It's funny in that article how he complains that no one wanted to live in fancy places over Safeway! Here's a comment from the bee

The reason Mr. Petrovich "lost his butt" on mixed use at the 19th St. Safeway project was that he was attempting to rent $3000 a month luxury apartments without parking spaces.

Connie, what about the development do you think is good?

Anonymous said...

The only thing I've heard that is good about his specific development is that there is going to be a grocery store. In general I think urban infill is a fantastic idea. I agree that Petrovich (silver animal statues aside) is the wrong man for the job. I wish it could be a developer who had more infill experience and a better understanding of mixed use. Is putting something in there better than nothing? I'm torn.

Connie

Anonymous said...

It may not have parking but come on, you get a 24 hour view of the Safeway parking lot! Never a dull moment - and that's what luxury urban living is all about.

-miller

Anonymous said...

I'm with Connie on the matter. Infill development is essential in managing this city's growth, for a ridiculous amount of reasons it's not worth going into here.

Petrovich is cleaning the soil at great expense, and it is a huge business risk taking on such a problematic site. In concept, it would be wonderful to reclaim an industrial wasteland as part of the established surrounding neighborhoods.

But past that point, Petrovich is not the right man for this job. He should really partner with another developer, or solicit opinions of one with much more experience in working with such a site.

The mixed use portion of Safeway turned to a debacle due to Petrovich's notorious contractor disputes. He refused to let anyone occupy them because he claimed the contractor didn't do a good job building them well after they were completed.

The price tag placed on renting those units was an intentional deterrent.

Stephen Glass said...

Connie, it's because of your having once living in Arcata that helps you like infill so much.

Anonymous said...

Up not out!

-chapstick

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, the world's largest Rite Aid with 2 gorillas playing chess in front and urban lofts upstairs? It's a no brainer.

-miller

Anonymous said...

only if the chess pieces have the heads of the city council and planning commission members.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of infill too,
I wish it invloved more smart development that designed it as infill and not "another strip mall in the suburbs" If its hard to bike to, hard to walk to, and has a lawless crap ass parking lot it sort of defeats all the good points.
-Natalie.
But I do like gorillas and chess quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

Hi all - count me in as a huge fan of infill and TODs. But there is "transit oriented" and there is "transit adjacent" and Mr. Petrovich is ready to deliver the latter. Nothin' special, just another Safeway/Rite Aid and his usual cast of strip mall rats, completely ignoring the fact that this site sits between two light rail stations and by City College. It could and should be really amazing and unique but Petrovich just doesn't think that way. So OUR city council needs to encourage him to expand his thinking. Write to them!!!

-- Kate

PS. This new planning commission debated the planned Freeport Taco Bell drive-through with more vigor than they did the Curtis Park Village project. And they approved that too! Sad indeed.