Story last updated at 6:53 PM on Jan. 14, 2005
McCarter's rhetoric strained credibility
Charles Apostolik

It's interesting Athens-Clarke County Commissioner States McCarter (Forum, Dec. 29) invoked Oregon's Measure 37 to support his apparent desire to undermine the local zoning ordinance and future land use plan. Measure 37 (though flawed, as many believe it is) was an attempt to protect property owners from changes in zoning law that would negatively affect property values.

If Measure 37 existed locally, and if the 1140 Prince Ave. rezoning for a medical office building, which McCarter supported, had been successful, residents of adjacent neighborhoods would be entitled to sue for compensation for its negative effect on quality of life and property values.

Also straining credibility was McCarter's assertion he would welcome such a development, along with its expansive, sea-of-concrete parking deck, to his own neighborhood - especially if it displaced existing multifamily-zoned property. I don't claim to understand other neighborhoods' ways of thinking, but I wonder whether everyone in Cedar Creek feels the same way. McCarter's rhetoric about the alleged need for new medical office space being so urgent as to justify throwing out zoning law and the land use plan also rang somewhat hollow.

The bottom line of McCarter's Measure 37 fantasy apparently would be the defeat of incumbents like District 5 Commissioner David Lynn (who, perhaps incidentally, declined to join last year's crusade for rental registration). I believe David is unsurpassed as a conscientious representative of his constituents and a thoughtful supporter and defender of the public interest in general - always standing for rational land use policies against random, unrestrained development.

Charles Apostolik