I don’t really watch TV, I so can’t say for sure, but I imagine that there are very few shows currently airing that provide better entertainment than a public meeting. Whether it’s a City Council hearing or a the first chance to address the developer of a controversial condo project, public comment periods are certain to generate far more laughs than Everybody Loves Raymond, or whatever it is the kids are watching these days.
Neither Pat Kernighan nor Nancy Nadel was present on Tuesday night, which was somewhat surprising considering that the tower is highly relevant to their Lake Merritt Zoning Study. A cynical person might even see the “study” as a thinly veiled attempt to thwart the project.
Had she attended, Nadel, who says the high-rise would be more appropriate on Broadway, rather than next to the three tallest buildings in the city, would have found herself an ally in the woman who begged the project team to “think of the DIRT!“, or the woman who insisted that the 4 blocks between the site and the BART station would force all its residents to drive to Walnut Creek for all their shopping and entertainment.
I’m a fan of the project, myself. But I don’t know if I like it quite so much as the speaker who informed the room “This is the greatest thing in the world that can happen.”
Other highlights included Joe O’Donoghue’s animated description of the project’s community benefit package, which includes a rowing club so that the disenfranchised youth will get scholarships to the Ivy League schools, and the woman who somewhat randomly seized her moment in the spotlight as a chance to tell everyone about her job in the banking industry and how terrible it is that Oakland has no programs to assist first-time homebuyers. (She’s wrong, BTW.)
I wrote a more thorough report on the Emerald Views meeting for Novometro.