Thinking outside the planter box

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The city has worked long and hard to spruce up downtown, but that doesn’t mean that beauty and practicality don’t sometimes collide.

Take last week’s encounter between members of the Transportation and Public Works Committee and the well-meaning folks from the Carlyle condo project on Third Avenue. The Carlyle blueprint originally called for planters connected to the building, a plan that was rejected by Heritage Preservation Commission. So the developers moved the planters out to the curb, a plan that was vetoed by the Public Works Department because they interfered with pedestrian traffic. Distraught, the Carlyle folks appealed the decision and came to the committee hoping for some compromise.

Accompanying them was the imposing Seventh Ward council member, Lisa Goodman, who strode purposefully to the podium and begged that the committee begin “thinking outside of the box” or lose a $50,000 greening project.

Suitably chastised, committee chair Sandra Colvin Roy encouraged the staff and the developers to “find a way for this to work” before the council takes it up August 4.