Last night the Twentynine Palms Planning Commission approved a 12,480 sq ft retail building which will be located between the Del Taco and the medical building. I arrived late and didn’t catch all the details, but maybe one of the PCs will follow this with a comment or two. I didn’t catch why the term Dollar General was taken out of the paperwork, however, it is still a retail building. The builder stated he was ready to start building as soon as he was given the green light by the city. This should be good news for the city.
Second on the agenda was a discussion in regards to planning commissioners attending city council meetings when an item on the city council’s agenda is an item that has previously gone before the planning commission. After much discussion, the PC made a motion for a policy that requires one member to attend city council meetings and be available for questions from the city council.
Last on the agenda was a Commisssion discussion of various land uses which may be considered over-concentrated within the community of Twentynine Palms. During the study session, planning commissioners tried to answer questions from the city council. The city council wanted to know is there a perceived or real problem with an over concentration of businesses in Twentynine Palms and if there is a problem, is it a land use issue?. These questions proved to be highly debatable questions and provoked a rather lengthy discussion among the planning commissioners.
Several questions didn’t seem to have an answer, what do visitors think of our town? What is more negative, empty buildings or an over concentration of businesses?Would other businesses come to town if bars, tattoo shops, barber shops, nail salons, and smoke shops were not here?
In the mix of their some what heated discussion, I think good questions were identified that can be answered. What are the barriers to local people wanting to open businesses in Twentynine and what are the barriers to outside businesses coming to town? When these problems are identified, and a solution found then a more diverse business community may emerge. It seems to me that the desired goal is to have a variety of businesses in town.
Some suggestions were putting distances between duplicate businesses, contracting with the state to do more inspections of service businesses, and requiring businesses to have proper signage. To be clear, the PC is not interested in shutting down current businesses or making businesses move from their location. Most of the council seemed leery of going down the road of choosing what businesses are considered undesirable and or restricting the over concentration to any particular group. In the end a motion was made that nothing would be forwarded to the council, because most of the issues will be discussed in the July 17th’s development code study session.
I encourage people to attend the July 17th meeting because it will be important to have a variety of ideas presented by the public at the meeting.