The Union piece inaccurate, unfair
The opinion piece written by The Union’s staff Tuesday, Jan. 15, criticizing Nevada City Planning Commissioner Laurie Oberholtzer’s comments regarding the proposed convenience store/gas station downtown was inaccurate, misleading, hostile, and downright mean spirited.
First, the proposed project was not just a deli. It included a coffee shop and retail sale of drinks, snacks, and other goods. It was a convenience store!
Secondly, it is inaccurate and misleading to imply that Commissioner Oberholtzer’s opposition to the project was solely based on display of signs. When taken out of context, as the author did, denying a project because of signs does sound laughable. However, the issue of visual clutter was only a minor point made by the commissioner. More importantly, the commissioner’s comments included concern regarding the intensity of the use, the location of the use, traffic, and general safety. It is irresponsible and is simply propaganda to single out a minor point, such as signs, for such derision while ignoring the rest of the comments and concerns expressed by Commissioner Oberholtzer. The attempt to draw a connection between a comment about visual clutter and both a lack of trust in people’s decision-making ability and the acceptability of lingerie in store windows near schools is illogical and absurd. Furthermore, to restrict visual clutter in a vibrant commercial district, such as downtown, is certainly defendable. You will not find flashing lights, neon signs, large signs, fluorescent signs, or moving signs, all of which create inappropriate visual clutter. The only defense needed for such restrictions is the resulting beautiful, clutter-free downtown.
Finally, the author would have you believe that the project was denied because of signs and the result will be an abandoned gas station in downtown. The project was denied because it was too intense, in a terrible location, and would create traffic and safety problems. The City Council agreed with the Planning Commission’s decision. Though only an opinion, the piece was filled with misinformation, inaccuracies, deception, hostility and was intended to mislead the reader. Credibility is in question when opinions are based on such things.
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