As you no doubt know, local blogs like AthensWorld and the most Antidisingenuous blog we know, have been doing the dead tree media's job in publicizing Bruno Rubio's quest to bring some culinary diversity to the East side.
Of course, we're on la Puerta's email list, for which you can sign up by visiting their website. (You have been to the website, haven't you?)
Thanks to Matt Casey and Bruno for providing us, via the email list, these fine talking points (below) which you can use to create your very own letter to the commissioner (or commissioners) of your choice.
It's important to do this now, because after picking up a unanimous vote of confidence from the ACC Planning Commission, la Puerta's request to build is going before the ACC Mayor and Commission on October 4th.
If you're a regular reader, it goes without saying that the biggest opponent of Rubio's new enterprise sits right on the commission. We don't know how many of his colleagues agree with him, but your letters could help turn any anti-la Puerta tide that might be rising.
So, act now, be a citizen lobbyist, and write your commissioners (remember everybody has two, just like boobies!) and help a local entrepreneur create a local business that will put more money in the local economy while beautifying something of a local eyesore. It's local, get it?
Here are your talking points:
* La Puerta del Sol would be a tremendous enhancement of the Eastside
community, fostering unprecedented positive cultural learning, experiences,
upscale dining, and interaction for the residents who live and learn on the
Eastside of Athens.
* Full and extensive searching to identify a possible location for La
Puerta del Sol was conducted by Mr. Rubio, and Cofer's remains the only
possible site on the Eastside where he could purchase and own, rather than
lease, his project space.
* Considered traffic and noise to possibly affect homeowners have been
proven negligible, as no homeowner's community directly borders with La
Puerta del Sol, and the area's roads were recently expanded and are
well-equipped and well-prepared to seamlessly integrate this minor to
moderate increase in flow already.
* This project fits perfectly into the long-term land use plan for
this corridor, and is an environmentally friendly adaptive re-use of an
existing vacant property. No trees would need to be removed for the site
preparation, and many new trees will be incorporated.
* La Puerta del Sol would lend desirable character, sophistication,
and true community appeal that will attract upscale consumers and lead to
increased revenues in sales taxes that will be beneficial to our community
as a whole.
* Having La Puerta del Sol, a quality community "anchor" establishment
in our neighborhood, will generate interest and positive recognition to the
Eastside. It may attract families and add value to real estate in our area
just as Five Points and other desirable Athens areas attract notoriety and
maximum property values based upon their unique neighborhood assets.
* Community support for this rezoning is overwhelming, and includes
over 200 original petition signatures, and over 200 additional attendees to
community meetings who nearly unanimously support the rezoning. Furthermore,
a consistent majority of speakers at every commission meeting have spoken in
support of the rezoning. The community members that spoke in support of the
project were different at both commission meetings, while the opposing
speakers were largely the same individuals with very few additional
* La Puerta Del Sol was unanimously supported by the planning staff
and planning commission, and received a 8-0 vote of acceptance during the
September 1st, 2005 planning commission meeting.
* Many community members who may have opposed this rezoning initially
have shifted to support the proposal. Of the community members concerned
about the rezoning who have signed up to be fully and accurately informed
about the La Puerta del Sol proposal directly from its source, 98.64% of the
accurately informed constituents strongly support the rezoning, while 1.36%
oppose it (statistics were compiled based on the total of 75 individuals who
presented interest in viewing the complete proposal personally online and
submitted data and feedback on their interest). Of the total informed group,
over 50 are confirmed as Eastside residents, nearly all of whom have
submitted testimonies of support. This statistic would also indicate that
beyond the minority 2.86%, no recorded opposing constituents have sought to
stay informed via the actual plans by viewing and/or responding to the
original, actual proposal from its source.
Here's your email addresses.
Mayor: Heidi Davison
District 1: Charles Carter
District 2: Harry Sims (no email. Boooo!)
District 3: George Maxwell
District 4: Alice Kinman
District 5: David Lynn
District 6: Carl Jordan
District 7: Kathy Hoard
District 8: States McCarter
District 9: Tom Chasteen
District 10: Elton Dodson
While all commissioners have an equal vote here, the ones to really lobby, in our humble opinion, are McCarter and Dodson, because the proposed development is in McCarter's district and Dodson's super-district. Come to think of it though, you should probably also make sure to email Tom Chasteen. After all, he's running for mayor, and should at least grant anyone politically active enough to email him about a local issue like this the courtesy of an open mind and a reasoned reply. We wouldn't expect anything less from him anyway.
By the way, if you email your commissioners, and they clue you in on how they're leaning, let us know. We're planning on trying to keep a whip count here at the ol' blog.
Tips go here. So does other stuff.