I think it was just wonderful for the City to organize the special meeting of the City Council and the Planning Commission May 19th. I’m very excited that attention is being focused on problems with the downtown area and the Downtown Specific Plan is being reexamined. I heard a some great points at this meeting and believe this open and informal process has the potential to yield sound improvements to the planning function. The meeting inspired me to write this letter. Its long length attests to how motivated I am to see improvements made. I would love to see more such meetings in the future. I was especially impressed with the need to provide more parking spaces and the idea to remove additional parking requirements when subdividing large spaces into smaller units. After all, there isn’t an increase in the total square footage of these spaces when they are subdivided. Smaller units would be easier to rent and would better serve the small businesses the City prefers. Other proposals, such as raising the height limits on Forest Avenue buildings to allow second story additions, or changing the Guidelines to allow chain or formulaic businesses, I personally disagree with, but they are creative ideas nonetheless. I’m sure some of you would really like these ideas.