At a meeting of the Cultural Heritage Commission on July 23, an open conflict emerged between the commission and the public on a tenable vision concerning the project that will center on the Leitcher Building on Monterey Street and extend along the creek. A cluster of buildings 50 feet in height — that is taller than the Wineman Hotel — and of comparable bulk will dominate the historic 37-foot Leitcher Building and obviate the hope for a park-like setting, leading to the creek walk.
Across the creek, the buildings on Higuera, of equal height, will add to the dominance.
I found the CHC to be insensitive to these issues.
The Mission Plaza was pioneered by former Mayor Kenneth Schwartz, who set the vision for a handsome people's plaza and the natural setting of the creek area rendering an elegant baseline to the downtown.
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The current project is of similar importance and deserves an effort by the public and also the business community, of a kind that resulted in the eventual success of the Mission Plaza venture. Aside of the issue of bulk and height, I am in accord with the basic ideas of the developers.