Thursday, August 6, 2015

Discussion at the last City Commission meeting (8/4): Comm. McVoy gets schooled on theory of 'Defensible Spaces'

This was the second reading for changes to the residential project north of Publix, now referred to as "Bella Terra." It will allow for the completion of the project north of 3rd Avenue North which fixes and adjusts some site related flaws. One of those is the additions of gates to control access to the property. At about the 30 second mark, Commissioner McVoy starts in on the gate topic that he raised at the first reading. Listening to him begin his remarks, it is interesting that it seems difficult for him to say the word "developer." He called the gentleman in charge of the project, Troy White, the "developer" up to the podium to ask him if he had rethought his position on having gates added to the project. He didn't.

Mr. White immediately referred to Oscar Newman and his urban planning work regarding "defensible spaces." He proceeds to "school" Commissioner McVoy on the concept and how he feels that Oscar Newman would be on the same page in terms of gates being used in this instance. He said that the project would encourage the interaction between the residents of the project and those in the neighborhood surrounding the development. Then McVoy tries to speak for Mr. Newman beyond the grave. McVoy says that with gates being there it would be a "false sense of security" and that the gates wouldn't really matter. Mayor Triolo provides a real world example of when she acquired her house: she had people hanging out in her backyard prior to installing a fence.

The motion passed 4-1 with McVoy dissenting. Parts of the video I suggest watching:
  • Peggy Fisher at 10:30 mark
  • Greg Rice at 12:10 mark
  • Anthony Marrotta at 14:20 mark
  • Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell ends the discussion at 18:30 with some very strong comments