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Watch for disingenuous testimony

After viewing a recent Damascus City Council meeting considering a Measure 37 application for development of property on one of the buttes, the council should be very aware of the word 'disingenuous.'

The testimony presented was that the applicant wanted to build … 'oh maybe a few houses, four, five or so, maybe three, a couple of houses,' etc., on 6.43 acres; on its face, not an unreasonable request.

I learned a few days later that Metro had denied the claim, which was, in fact, a request to build single or multi-family residential lots of a half-acre to 1 acre. At no time did we hear of plans for multi-family residences or that the potential number of added residences could be based upon half-acre parcels.

The representative for the applicant knew better than to reveal to the council, and those in attendance, that it was a request for the right to build multi-family residences upon half-acre lots upon on one of our buttes. Instead, the more artful 'just a few homes' was used during the presentation.

Also, it was not revealed to the council that the claim had been denied by Metro, as the applicant could show no economic loss. Metro, after a detailed analysis, stated, 'Clearly, under no circumstances has any regulatory change to the xxx property reduced its value.'

Again, the contrary is the case. Growth, infrastructure investment and regulation necessary for orderly growth have produced increases in property values in excess of any alternative investment for the xxx property.' (Report of the Metro chief operating officer, dated Feb. 5, 2007, Page 8.)

All we heard was a short, unsupported representation to the council that the applicant had an economic loss due to zoning changes. The tenor of the comment was that economic loss to the applicant was a foregone conclusion. No mention was made that Metro disagreed with this assurance to the council.

Council, for future applications, the word is 'disingenuous.'

Gary A. Rankin is a Damascus resident.