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Author Topic: Lexington: Developments and News  (Read 1448 times)

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Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2008, 08:21:39 AM »
Candidates not sold on CentrePointe
FORUM HEARS TALK OF STRIKING BALANCE DOWNTOWN
By Greg Kocher, Herald-Leader, April 14, 2008

Candidates in three district primary races for Lexington's Urban County Council took a dim view of the $250 million CentrePointe project, and they weren't too keen on the possibility of a new downtown basketball arena, either.

During a forum Sunday at the Lexington Public Library, candidates in the primary races for Districts 3, 5 and 11 spoke of striking a balance between attracting new development downtown and preserving those attractions that give Lexington its identity.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:40:15 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2008, 10:34:18 AM »
Pedestrian view of CentrePointe
ENSURE DEVELOPMENT ADDS TO STREETSCAPE
By Ned Crankshaw, a professor in the University of Kentucky landscape architecture department who specializes in urban design in historic districts. Herald-Leader, April 14, 2008

The proposed CentrePointe complex caused considerable discussion about its scale and appearance, the demolition of older buildings and the displacement of entertainment venues.

But the most important issue has been little discussed: How will the building affect the downtown street environment?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:40:33 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline cplex

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2008, 11:10:27 AM »
I encourage everyone to go vote for their position on CentrePointe on centrepointelex.com's poll.

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2008, 07:58:47 AM »
Lease proof that landlord treated Dame like a lady
By Joe Rosenberg, Herald-Leader, April 28, 2008

I want to clear up a few factual gaps that, had they been explored, might have made the front-page article about The Dame a bit less newsworthy and the next day's editorial less condemning.

When I negotiated the lease for 156 West Main Street with the Harvester Group of Atlanta in 2002, I dealt primarily with Cole Skinner, a local manager-partner. I met Tom Yost and knew that other investors from the Atlanta area were involved in the potential operation of The Dame, but Skinner was the point person.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:40:53 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2008, 09:38:16 PM »
Oh boy! More Letters to the Editor Fun. Yes, let's equate those who oppose Centrepointe into the "Nazi" category! How constructive. (See second item.)

Evidence needed

For the second time since CentrePointe was announced, developer Dudley Webb has made the claim that Lexington businesses are sending their clients to hotels in Louisville and Cincinnati because Lexington's accommodations aren't nice enough. Really? I would appreciate it if those Lexington businesses would step forward.

Has Greenbaum, Doll & McDonald -- the law firm that represents Webb -- sent its clients to Louisville and Cincinnati? That would surprise me, since his lead attorney, Darby Turner, is a past president of Commerce Lexington and a past chairman of the Lexington Center Corp.'s board of directors.

Is Turner's firm sending clients to Louisville or Cincinnati because they are embarrassed by the quality of Lexington's hotels? I truly doubt it, nor do I think any other sane businessperson would send a client 70 miles away just to spend the night.

Webb has demonstrated his disdain for places like The Dame, Buster's and Mia's. During his initial appearance before the Urban County Council, when asked if he would consider allowing those establishments to be a part of CentrePointe, he became visibly uncomfortable and indicated that while he thought those establishments had their place in Lexington, that place could not be within two blocks of his upscale hotel.

If Webb's friends are uncomfortable staying at the Hyatt, Radisson, Griffin Gate or Hilton Suites, then by all means, they should go to Cincinnati. And stay there.

Charles Baldwin
Lexington

Needless buildings

It never ceases to amaze me that whenever something comes along that is a progressive step forward, the [COLOR="Red"]nature Nazis and tree huggers[/COLOR] come out in force against it.

Dudley Webb and his partners in the CentrePointe development have bought all the properties on the block in question. They hold the deeds, and yet a ragtag band of so-called preservationists, led by Vice Mayor Jim Gray, who have not one penny invested in that block want to stop the construction.

Only in Lexington would groups like Preserve Lexington and the Blue Grass Trust try to preserve a pawn shop and a honky-tonk establishment like The Dame. What loss will they be?

Gilbert Jones
Lexington

Progressive thinking

Lexington must be the only city on earth that equates old with historic. We have lots of old buildings on the proposed CentrePointe building site, but I don't think there's even one that's historic.

We have an interesting conundrum. In downtown, we can't build up, and on the fringes, we can't build out. Have we considered an underground Lexington?

On an unrelated note, I'm going to foot the bill for a state monkey to help our legislative process. Each June, the monkey will travel to every legislative district in Kentucky, open the phone book and point at a name. That person will represent that district at the next General Assembly session.

Don't laugh. Just imagine a representative beholden to no one, not obsessed with raising money, no re-election to worry about, no lobbyist friends to be influenced by.

We just may get people to vote for what is best for the state, its citizens and higher education. The potential is limitless.

Joe Mercer
Lexington

Offline C-Dawg Njaim

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2008, 04:23:04 PM »
It never ceases to amaze me that whenever something comes along that is a progressive step forward, the [COLOR="Red"]nature Nazis and tree huggers[/COLOR] come out in force against it.

WTF?! Yeah, that's a constructive argument...

Only in Lexington would groups like Preserve Lexington and the Blue Grass Trust try to preserve a pawn shop and a honky-tonk establishment like The Dame. What loss will they be?

No, it's like this in a lot of cities that want to preserve their historic buildings. Plus, there's certainly an incentive in keeping established live music venues downtown.

I remember being livid when Toledo decided to tear down the historic and haunted Club Bijou for the new municipal arena. Lots of people were mad since Bijou was one of the workhouse live music venues and nightclubs downtown- there was always something going on. Instead of reopening downtown, they moved to a more suburban area. Perhaps having their building torn down turned them off...

Point being, sometimes people get so caught up in the big projects, they forget about the little guys that give downtowns their soul. I'm sure this is not an easy decision for the people of Lexington.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2008, 04:34:59 PM by C-Dawg Njaim »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2008, 06:30:43 PM »
My comments --

1) The idea of having the hotel lobby face Main instead of Vine is a bigger plus. It seems that there is no massive auto court on the Main Street side, so let's hope they replaced the auto court on the Vine Street side with an urban park or something better.

2) The tower's relocation further back is a bigger plus and it isn't so overwhelming.

3) The facade preservation of the Rosenberg is a big plus as well, although I can't really see it from the second image they posted. I wonder if the facade is being preserved, and then being extended up a few floors...?

4) Space for a live music venue? At the meeting, Webb stated that he would not even consider space for a live music venue within two blocks. Is this a change of heart, after seeing the mass opposition to the project?

5) I don't have opposition to the tower itself, as it adds considerable density, but I wish they would include apartment units instead of more expensive condos.

I do have to concur with Gray on the following point, and it's one I've raised here before:

"My worst fear is we level the buildings, we destroy the historic fabric, we throw out the entertainment and the restaurants and we have another empty hole in downtown Lexington like the abandoned World Coal Center project 25 years ago," Gray said.

Let's make sure that when we do demolish the buildings, that we have a set game plan and all of the financing is in place. I don't want a giant hole or lot -- similar to the issue surrounding Museum Plaza or the World Coal Center.

--

Webbs tweak CentrePointe design
Vice mayor: Tower still 'troublesome'
By Steve Lannen And Michelle Ku, Herald-Leader, May 30, 2008

Developers of a controversial high-rise project in downtown Lexington have submitted revamped plans, but the city's vice mayor said the CentrePointe proposal remains "troublesome."

New plans by the Webb Cos. include:
• Putting the hotel lobby and entrance facing West Main Street instead of Vine Street.
• Moving the tower away from the street so the façade along Main Street is similar in height to nearby buildings.
• Attempting to preserve the façade of the Rosenberg jewelry store.
• Possible space for a live-music venue at the Rosenberg entrance.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:41:11 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline ForTheLoveOfDayton

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2008, 09:06:28 PM »
The rendering is gorgeous.

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2008, 09:38:56 PM »
I liked the idea of them preserving at least the facade of the oldest commercial buildings in Lexington, and the oldest remaining Federal-style buildings in the core. But I'll miss the numerous other historical properties, most legible for the NTHP.

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2008, 01:37:46 AM »
Webb doesn't think that Lexington's oldest commericial structures are not historic? That they date to the 19th century is not old enough? The last line is also a gem... and sums up a lot of the frustrations.

Preservationists are not swayed
SAY CENTREPOINTE CHANGES ARE NOT ENOUGH; 'ALL WE CAN DO,' WEBB REPLIES
By Steve Lannen, Herald-Leader, May 31, 2008

Leaders of local preservation groups on Friday cast doubt on changes developers have made to the proposed Centrepointe skyscraper in downtown Lexington.

Developer Dudley Webb, however, said yesterday that he and his partners have done their best to respond to feedback and meet with preservationists and others with concerns.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:41:25 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2008, 09:09:41 AM »
Public input being built into CentrePointe
By Woodford Webb, Herald-Leader Editorial, June 3, 2008

Significant design modifications have been made to the CentrePointe development since the project was announced.

We considered all suggestions from local groups and individuals about how the project should be designed. Some have been incorporated in whole or in part; others could not be for various reasons.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:38:45 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2008, 10:39:30 PM »
Neighborhood group donates to save block
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 5, 2008

A Lexington neighborhood has donated money to Preserve Lexington's efforts to preserve a block of historic buildings threatened by the proposed CentrePointe project, and a fund-raiser is being organized to raise money for the cause.

The Historic South Hill Neighborhood Association donated $1,000 to Preserve Lexington, and an anonymous member matched that donation, for a total of $2,000. The group selected Preserve Lexington because it has "taken on the mantle of negotiations with the developer," said Peter Cassidy III, neighborhood president.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:38:36 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2008, 01:29:00 PM »
It's on GTV-3 right now.
^ Link pops with video.

Demolition request for CentrePointe goes to review board
By Beverly Fortune, Herald=Leader, June 25, 2008

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board will meet Wednesday to decide whether to allow developers to demolish a stretch of buildings on West Main Street and to construct a luxury hotel, condominium and retail project.

The 35-story, $250 million CentrePointe project would take up an entire downtown block.

Developers Dudley and Woodford Webb argue the existing buildings are not historic, nor is it economically feasible to rehabilitate the structures.

Opponents, led by Preserve Lexington, will make the case that the buildings are historically significant and eligible for tax credits that would lower the cost of renovating and re-using.

Here is how the two sides view the project.

Preserve Lexington's structural inspection report for buildings

Kentucky Heritage Council letter about CentrePointe

Read developers' proposal to the Courthouse Area Design Review Board
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 01:29:51 PM by seicer »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2008, 01:31:31 PM »
Development misses point
City can't build future without regard for its past
Editorial, June 25, 2008

The proposed CentrePointe carries its conflict in its name.

The block that The Webb Cos. and partners propose to destroy to build a 35-story hotel-office-condo tower is at the very center point of Lexington. The block is home to Lexington's oldest commercial history.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:38:25 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2008, 01:32:20 PM »
Merge old buildings, new plan, they say
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

Hayward Wilkirson, a founder of Preserve Lexington, said his organization does not oppose a major development on the old Woolworth block on Main Street, where the CentrePointe project is proposed.

But preservationists want to see some of the 14 buildings integrated into the development.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:38:13 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2008, 01:33:05 PM »
Buildings in question 'are too far gone'
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

CentrePointe developers contend it is not economically feasible to renovate the old buildings in the downtown block where they want to build a high-rise luxury hotel and condominium complex.

”Basically, those buildings are too far gone“ to save, said Darby Turner, attorney for Dudley and Woodford Webb, CentrePointe developers.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:38:01 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2008, 06:54:37 PM »
Board approves CentrePointe proposal
Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board has approved granting permits for construction of the proposed CentrePointe high-rise development in downtown Lexington and demolition of the buildings on the block where it is planned.

The five-member Courthouse Area Design Review Board listened to arguments from an overflow crowd that filled the Urban County Council chambers Wednesday afternoon, but it ultimately followed a city government staff report to grant the permits.

The 35-story, $250 million hotel-condominium project is planned by the Webb Co’s., led by Dudley and Woodford Webb.

Approval by the board allows the project to move forward, although several bureaucratic steps remain.

Offline Jeffrey

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2008, 07:48:21 PM »
Methinks it might be a good idea to take a road trip to Lex and take some pix before this block is gone.

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2008, 11:24:48 PM »
Call if you do, and I can show you around the block and area.

Demolition could begin in a matter of weeks, since they applied for the permits previously. The buildings that are not along Main will be demoed first, since The Dame is still moving out. They are wanting to move _very quickly_ on this.

I pretty much watched ( and fell asleep through ) the hearings while watching GTV-3 ( our government channel ), and there was a LOT of opposition to the project and some that were for the project. Architects presented their renderings again, Webbs made some statements, and so on. It started at 2 PM, and I left for dinner around 6:30 that evening and the hearings were still ongoing.

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2008, 04:45:30 AM »
Oops. Within a few DAYS. :(

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2008, 07:29:32 AM »
Board approves CentrePointe proposal
Preservationists lose round in bid to save buildings
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 26, 2008

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board unanimously approved granting permits for demolition of buildings on the Dame block and for construction of the proposed CentrePointe high-rise development in downtown Lexington.

The five-member board listened to five hours of arguments from an overflow crowd that filled the Urban County Council chambers Wednesday afternoon, but it followed a city government staff recommendation to grant permits.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:37:47 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2008, 06:22:30 AM »
Farmers market looking to move over one block
By Amy Wilson, Herald-Leader, June 27, 2008

Every summer for 23 years, the Peach Lady, her peaches, her cantaloupes and her watermelon have shown up wherever the sign said Lexington Farmers Market.

This year, despite plans that will have the traditional Saturday market site probably be CentrePointe construction central, the Peach Lady, Mary Tyler, says she will persevere.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:37:38 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2008, 06:27:10 AM »
^ Posted another article from today.

Webb stated that he was "bothered" by the controversy surrounding the project, and that city official stated that they wanted to use TIF to "change the design of the project." So by removing TIF and nixing the idea of working with the city on funding, you are removing components of the project that drew some people in -- the improvements to Phoenix Park, public art, fountains and improved streetscape. This is not a good call on public relations.

Current and future components in flux
Fund plan may cut art, fountains, jumbotron
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 27, 2008

Amenities for the city like improvements to Phoenix Park, public art, fountains. a giant outdoor movie screen and improved streetscape will be eliminated from the ­CentrePointe project if the developer nixes the idea of working with the city on financing.

Developer Dudley Webb surprised city officials Wednesday when he announced that his $250 million downtown hotel and condominium project can be built without $70 million in tax increment financing. ”We can do it privately, without TIF,“ he said as the project got approval to proceed.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:37:29 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2008, 11:59:22 AM »
CentrePointe: To be or not to be?
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 1, 2008

Preserve Lexington has appealed last week's decision by the Courthouse Area Design Review Board to permit developers to raze a stretch of buildings on West Main Street to make room for a luxury hotel and condominium high rise.

The appeal was filed with the Planning Commission, which has 90 days to hold a public hearing.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:37:16 PM by Sherman Cahal »

Offline seicer

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2008, 12:03:58 PM »
No TIF for CentrePointe? Yeah, fine
By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader Editorial, July 1, 2008

Dudley Webb now says he can build his CentrePointe tower without public money.

Maybe he should.

Originally, Webb wanted as much as $70 million in tax increment financing ­— known as TIF — to pay for ”public“ improvements related to the $250 million project. Those could include additional underground parking, a giant outside video screen and some public art.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:37:07 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2008, 06:36:21 PM »
Hearing set on demolition of buildings
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine set a hearing for July 22 on Preserve Lexington's request for an injunction to keep CentrePointe developers from razing several historic buildings. CentrePointe's attorney agreed that developers would not tear the buildings down in the meantime.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:36:52 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #56 on: July 02, 2008, 06:37:26 PM »
Council discusses project
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

City leaders spent three hours Tuesday debating the pros and cons of the controversial CentrePointe construction project, a discussion several Urban County Council members said they should have had two years ago.

”This is the first time the council has sat down and really discussed this,“ councilman Dick DeCamp said. ”I think it is really ludicrous that we are having our first discussion of (tax incentives for the project) at this late date.“
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:36:40 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2008, 06:42:09 PM »
Injunction sought to prevent demolition
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

Preserve Lexington filed suit on Tuesday seeking a temporary injunction to prevent the city from issuing demolition permits for eight buildings in the Courthouse Area Overlay Zone.

--

Some Downtown Demolition Halted While Other Buildings Come Down
WKYT-TV, July 2, 2008

A hearing has been set to determine whether the demolition of several buildings can take place in downtown Lexington.

Developers of the CentrePointe project started tearing down some buildings on Wednesday morning, but the project didn't get very far.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:36:29 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2008, 06:52:37 AM »
Council arrived late for this ball
By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader Column, July 3, 2008

We’ll never be the belle of the ball if everyone knows we’re easy.

That’s how I ended my first column about CentrePointe, soon after Dudley Webb unveiled plans for his $250 million luxury hotel, condo and retail complex.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:36:09 PM by Sherman Cahal »

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Re: Lexington: CentrePointe Project
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2008, 06:56:26 AM »
Group takes preservation case to court
Judge sets hearing date of July 22
By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 3, 2008

As demolition began on the site of a planned high-rise downtown hotel, a judge set a date for a hearing that could decide the future of other buildings on the block.

Preserve Lexington's request for an injunction to keep CentrePointe developers from immediately razing historic buildings in the Courthouse Area Design Overlay Zone will be heard on July 22.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 08:35:52 PM by Sherman Cahal »