Kelly Says City Not Responsible For Delays In Matthews Market Project

July 6, 2009

As Jim Reid’s plans for a grocery store and café make their way through West U.’s permitting process, Reid has written Mayor Bob Kelly and said the length of the process has put the project in jeopardy.


Reid submitted plans for the Matthews Market project at 6203 Edloe June 9. The plans were denied near the end of June. Reid must now correct the issues noted by city staff and resubmit


In an e-mail dated June 29 obtained through the open records act, Reid wrote to Kelly along with several West U. residents, explaining that the project has taken too long and that he has waited “patiently” through the city’s board and commission processes since October of 2008, and asking for the mayor’s help.


“The old JMH site is a black eye on this community as it sits there vacant and lifeless,” wrote Reid.  “It would be a shame to see the same fate on Matthews Motors site.”


Reid wrote that he felt the project “represents more to this community than a porch, remodel of house, swimming pool-etc of some individuals home.”

Kelly responded, saying he felt the city was not responsible for any delays in the project.


“I can understand your frustration, but the City staff is in no manner responsible for any delays in your project….in fact, they have done all they can do under the law to move your project along…..and they continue to do so,” said Kelly. “As to whose project is more important, it has been my experience that everyone considers their particular project important. I certainly would not have wanted to tell that homeowner with several small children on Sunset who recently asked for help getting into his new home that he was
being delayed doing so as the City had put other latter filed project ahead of him.”


For a timeline of the project according to West U. city staff, click here.


Reid’s June 29 e-mail spawned several e-mails to the mayor from residents, one encouraging a “can-do” attitude from the city regarding the project. Kelly offered to set up a meeting with city staff to explain the permitting process and the timeline of the project from the city’s point of view.


“Our building officials are charged by law to treat all applicants for permits the same and make sure whatever is built is safe,” wrote Kelly in response to a resident e-mail. “Our building officials have bent over backwards to help Jim and try to get him on tract (sic) so as to comply with the City codes and get his  permits asap. I have personally kept up with the situation so as to make sure the approval process moves as quickly as possible and stay in compliance with the City’s building codes. The delays that the project seems to have been experiencing have not been caused by the City or by red tape. The City is losing sale tax revenue everyday that the project is not completed and thus has no reason not to help Jim as much as is allowed by law.”


Reid originally said he hoped for an April opening, but recently said the new goal is September, and has not returned phone calls for comment.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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