Who’s First in Littleton–Citizens or Developers?

Recurring conversations among City Council members about private property owner rights—and by extension, those of realtors and developers—to maximize profits have become increasingly alarming.
The subject recently came up when Council discussed the question of building heights downtown.  That conversation concerned citizen desires to maintain downtown’s historic small-town character.  Councilmember Doug Clark suggested that heights could be limited to maintain that character.  But Councilmember Bill Hopping claimed that restricting building height would limit what he called the developers’ right to build a four-story hotel. He added that a limit would require the city to reimburse the developer for lost revenue–because it would be a “taking.”  The city attorney has already told the council that restricting the height would not be a taking of personal property rights.
It is alarming that Council believes that maximization of developers’ profits overrides the will of the citizens of Littleton and the community itself.
We ask, Why does as Council as a whole remain silent?  Why does it allow itself to be represented by  a few Councilmembers who are greater advocates for private developer interests that they are for the the citizens that they were elected to represent?
It is difficult to escape the impression that the silence of the rest of Council indicates an unwillingness to address this crucially important matter.
Unless this situation is rectified, citizens can expect further urbanization of our—still yet, at least in some parts—small-town suburban community character to continue, unabated.
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