I believe the key issue in the proposal for an office building at 1140 Prince Ave. is that any application to amend the zoning ordinance ought to include strong justification for rezoning. The applicants in this instance have made none.
Nonetheless, at last week's work session, two Athens-Clarke commissioners seemed to dismiss existing zoning law, along with the vision of the future land use plan. They contended a need for more and bigger medical office space within sight of Athens Regional Medical Center trumps current zoning and the land use plan, with no real evidence to support that assertion.
And the challenge to a neighborhood's preference for multifamily development over a shiny, new concrete parking structure on its border doesn't deserve comment.
Let's hope these two commissioners rethink their positions and vote on Dec. 7 like neighborhood advocates.
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Thursday, November 25, 2004