When we reported last week on Prudential Northwest Realty moving out of its California SW location, merging with the same-ownership office at Jefferson Square, we got a new round of questions about the “upzoning” proposal for the area in which the now-empty office sits (which also was invoked in the real-estate listing for the Shamrock apartment building, as we reported days before the Prudential story). That proposal to change the zoning along California between Hanford and Hinds (and a bit further south on the west side of the street) to NC2-40 has been in the works for almost 15 months (we broke the story 11/8/07), and it’s been more than half a year since the city started telling us the recommendation was almost ready. And that’s what the city says now; planner Malli Anderson tells WSB, “I expect to complete a draft of the rezone recommendation this week.” Two of her supervisors then review it, including Bob McElhose, who told us, “When we have agreed with the decision and the final edits, it will go to the Hearing Examiner for the open record pre-decision hearing and recommendation, for which there will be notice. Depending on the review of the draft, the notice could go out as early as this Thursday or possibly next week.” (The city’s Land Use Information Bulletin is published Mondays and Thursdays; you can see the latest one here.) Anderson said the notice will “be sent to those who sent comment letters and e-mails or signed the sign-in sheet at the public meeting.” (That’s the public meeting we covered in late November 2007; a month after that meeting, longtime local businessmen Mike Gain and Roger Cayce talked with us about their vision for the area.) No explanation of why it’s taken so long, although planners told us at one point along the way that it’s not unusual for rezoning requests to take more than a year; since the decision here will trigger hearings and comment periods, it’ll be months before anything’s final.
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