Tom Tapp Opposes Median Parking Lot
As 'A Very Bad Precedent'

Project is unjustified says former Parks & Rec Director


TAPP'S LETTER TO CITY COMMISSION

Recently I have been made aware of this [median parking lot] issue that I was involved with in 1995 as the Director of Parks and Recreation. The issue is basically the same — however, it was obviously handled by the city much differently at that time.

As the Director of Parks and Recreation, the issue was brought to me and I opposed the proposal by the church to install permanent parking in that median because it was valuable green space to that neighborhood. The staff recommendation with public input prevailed and permanent parking was not developed.

I do realize that the charter school has created increased traffic. However, that does not justify removing public green space when intermittent traffic issues can be solved by other means — as they have been in many other school in the city.

As the city has matured the citywide trend has been to add green space, create new green medians, plant more trees, and to soften our urban environment with more landscaping. To allow this public green space to be taken over for parking against the wishes of the neighborhood is setting a very bad precedent.

As stewards of the city's public land, the City Commission and the city staff have a responsibility to its citizens to protect these assets for the overall good of the community. To allow the parking to stay shows the community that the city:

• Doesn't follow rules and procedures of protecting public land
• Opens the city to liability on that property
• Provides maintenance to a private parking lot
• Doesn't listen to the community

Please vote to restore this valuable public space back to green space as it was intended in the original design of that neighborhood.

Thank You.

Thomas L. Tapp
Former Director of Parks and Recreation