cowboyeagle05 wrote:The OLC does not make development they simply provide an opinion on what is proposed. They have serious limits to what they can fight developers on so let's stop blaming them if Total Wine which has not even gotten approval for construction let alone its design or Starbucks which has not even put up a fence for demolition and could possibly never be built.
Not totally accurate. They vote and provide guidance on zoning changes for the neighborhood, and whatever they decide is typically accepted and approved/denied by the City Plan Commission. They are much more powerful than people think, and they have been failing the neighborhood lately including approving a $20 million payday for Angela Hunt and her developer buddies for no apparent reason whatsoever. It had nearly 100% DISAPPROVAL from the neighborhood OLC members, but the board passed it anyway (how much of the payday do they get?). Even the OLC President Brenda Marks said, “Unfortunately it pains me to say the OLC got this one wrong. Had I been in town, I would have voted ‘no’ to the Lincoln deal.” Angela Hunt was also a paid representative for the zoning change needed to tear down 2 mixed use buildings (retail and residential mix) at Congress and Oak Lawn to build a suburban drive thru Starbucks. Keep in mind that NONE of these terrible examples of development meet zoning and require changes and exceptions, therefore we DO NOT as a city need to keep approving them. But, there's money being exchanged behind closed doors so the deals happen and the changes are approved. Not cool with me, personally.
The strip center that will be replaced by Total Wine has seen much better days but it least it is filled with locally owned businesses. It should be replaced eventually, but not for a development that takes the neighborhood backwards and for a national chain at that. Same story with the mixed use buildings being demolished for Starbucks drive thru and parking lot.