I’m excited for this, our first blog post! First, I’d like to thank everyone who has donated their time, dedication, and hard earned money to make this website a possibility. Thank you to Eric Valinsky, from American Dance & Music Inc. & Inlineos LLC, for your work on the website and for the suggestions you have given us along the way. And thank you to Debra Deyette for the beautiful photos. It’s been very inspiring to see so many of you come and encourage me to run and make a difference in your community. I’ll do my best to represent you!
I want to use this opportunity to answer some questions I have been receiving in regards to Solvang 2.0. I want to make this clear: I do not agree with the plan, and I’m happy it’s no longer being considered. In its present state I do not believe there was enough research on the complications developing on Mission Dr. would have on traffic, parking, and the overall aesthetic impact that this new development would bring. I am also appalled that the demolishing of the Veterans Memorial Building, and the displacement of the Senior center and library without consulting the community for its needs and wishes was ever considered.
Since the original called “Solvang 2.0” was scratched, the developer has since proposed an apartment complex with 59 two-bedroom units. The project calls for high density exceptions that allow for 4-story buildings, and only 62 parking spots. While we do need housing in Solvang, I am concerned about the traffic to access the proposed building, and the lack of parking. Residents are already concerned about the residential streets being used by thru-traffic and the congestion of vehicles on Mission Dr.
What we need is the consultation with the businesses, residents, and experts in order to see how a major development on Mission Dr. can be accomplished that benefits the community and doesn’t become a nuisance. We need qualified staff in the Planning Department and Public Works that can help developers navigate through the process, and can provide insight on what these developments mean for Solvang’s future. Situations like these are a problem our city has faced as people leave office. This year, many staff members were let go that had the knowledge and experience necessary to properly advice the City to make decisions. The inability of our local agencies to retain knowledge has caused these issues to become more apparent. It is for this reason it is important we have people in office who understand that any actions we take with our cities resources should not be squandered when we are offered what seems like an opportunity.
I am committed to take expertise, public comment, and our needs as a community as the base of all of our decisions as part of the Solvang City Council. We are blessed with a lovely city where we can all thrive. Enhancing the quality of life of our residents should be at the top of our priorities. I hope I can count with your vote this november, and have the opportunity to serve you!