We want to know what they think should be done with the downtown Civic Center buildings and what they think should be done about the Dell Avenue area, once the high tech center of the city.
Last week, the council voted to start studies for both areas.
Send your questions for council members or anyone in town to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get them answered.
First up, Councilman Jeffrey Cristina on Downtown:
I do not have an exact vision for it. A few things I would like to see is the possibility of bringing the museum next to the Ainsley House to bring the tours together. I would like to see a parking structure to accommodate more business downtown. I would love to see a green rooftop above the library. I know that Chicago's City Hall has one and it is able to save them a large amount of money, but I also like the idea of it for people going to the library being able to work outside on the roof. It gives me a good feeling to be above traffic and in greener areas.
These are just ideas. As I said I do not have an exact vision. I want to see what our options are and go from there. This is still a very early time frame for the project.
We need to improve the space because many of our employees need more space to work. It was built years ago for less employees and it was fine. The City has grown and City Hall has not. Our library is the oldest in the system and also has the highest use. That shows that the need is there.
How much we should spend and where the money comes from are options we need to look at. I heard we have a few options of what is a possibility, some I do not particularly enjoy, some I am open too. At this point we are at too early of a stage to know for sure.
On Dell Avenue:
That is a great question. I really think this area has so many possibilities. With the creek trail adjacent I feel many companies would want their businesses to be near so they could have that access for their employees.
With that being said mainly what I would want are large businesses campuses. I would prefer them to generate sales taxes, but to ensure the area is there to create and save jobs is very important.
There is a conflict that I have, and that is that I understand the importance of R&D and saving it, yet at the same time I would like to have it as densely populated with businesses as possible.
That means one thing to me, going over our height limit. We are going to have to plan for a flock of new people moving to Campbell with the new light rail stations we have coming. We are supposed to plan for the highest density near the light rail stations.
It seems clear to me that we save the downtown and keep it like it is by going to a vote of the public about changing the height restrictions for the Dell Ave area as well as the area from Pruneyard north to Hamilton (this area already has 5 of the city's 7 buildings over the height limit).
If we are able to get those areas to build with higher densities then we can hit our RHNA numbers and still grow smart.
The biggest problem is making the adjustment. It needs to go to the voters. I feel that if the public is aware of what the problem is and that this is a possible way to help ensure we accommodate the states requirements, we can grow and save the amazing atmosphere that former Councils created in the downtown.