Sunset Hills challengers seek to preserve city’s residential character

To the editor:

The April 7 election is pivotal to the future of Sunset Hills.

The outcome is of critical importance to the future of the city and vital for the continued economic prosperity of residents.

Energetic challengers are running in every ward, seeking to preserve the residential character of the community. Three incumbent aldermen seek re-election to pursue a pro-commercial zoning agenda that began after the tornado in 2010.

The then-mayor and board favored rezoning the tornado-damaged residential area to commercial zoning. Next in 2013, city officials entered into an exclusive development scheme with the Sansone Group. The subsequent QuikTrip plan became public knowledge in January 2014, after the filing period for municipal elections had expired.

The timing and background of these two efforts led to the election of a write-in candidate for mayor last April. Since then, remaining board members have sought to divert attention from their pro-development agenda by threatening impeachment of the duly elected mayor and attempting to rewrite the city’s comprehensive plan.

Sunset Hills residents enjoy large lots, deep setbacks and low-density zoning unequalled in most urban environments.

Retail services are contained in narrow commercial areas. Throughout the city’s history, residential zoning has always been given priority over commercial zoning. As a result, housing values here are among the highest in the county. On April 7, residents need to elect competent and professional candidates who encourage the benefits our residential heritage provides.

Elected officials must represent the residents in a professional and dignified manner and protect residential zoning.