They must ask permission

Linda Koebert fails to mention in her recent Forum that it was the residents of Traverse City who voted, by a wide margin, to change the City Charter as it relates to building height restrictions. The very residents who cherish our vibrant community and who have invested a lifetime to afford to live in this great town.

Developers are not prevented from building taller than the 60-foot limit. They just have to ask to build above 60 feet so as not to disrupt views of Grand Traverse Bay. The very views the City and this region have worked to protect for decades.

Building height restrictions are not a foreign concept. Cities all over the world have done so to preserve the character and balance of urban cores and to protect significant view sheds: Washington, D.C., Paris, Athens, Rome, Montreal, Portland and Madison, Wisconsin — to name a few. The arbitrary standard city staff uses to measure building heights may be why residents are upset. It’s time city staff starts following the clear dictates from Traverse City residents. Complaints from developers who benefit from over building should not come before taxpayer concerns.

Traverse City’s character does count, which is why so many people want to protect it.

Jim Carruthers

Traverse City

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