by Travis Mateer
I talk a lot of shit when it comes to a particular local media outlet because its proprietor, Martin Kidston, is NOT just a terrible writer, he’s ALSO a narrative-controlling stenographer for our local political establishment, and it REALLY SHOWS with articles like this one.
The title of the post introduces a topic that one might assume the body of the article will elucidate. Here’s the title: With construction underway, Sawmill District seeks zoning change for more uses. From the link:
With approval from the planning board in place, the Missoula City Council is set to consider a zoning amendment for the Old Sawmill District that would allow for a wider range of uses in one portion of the subdivision.
New portions of the district are under construction, and architects have said they’ve had challenges meeting the limited definition of uses allowed on the ground floor.
Removing those restrictions would allow for a wider range of options, both in use and design, and enable the development to shift with changes and trends in the economic market.
At this stage of development, with the steel bones of ATG/Cognizant’s tech campus going up, what kind of uses are being denied to this project due to zoning? You would think this article could answer that question, but no. Nowhere in this article is anything substantive actually written about the what this zoning change would actually produce.
Instead, we get shit like this from city planner Emily Gluckin:
“The proposed expansion of the allowed uses will continue to reflect the goals for mixed-use development in the Old Sawmill District,” said city planner Emily Gluckin. “They’ll continue to contribute to the economic vitality of the area while continuing to promote a pedestrian-oriented pattern of development.”
I kept reading this article, hoping to actually learn something about WHY this zoning change is needed, but I kept getting talk AROUND the specifics instead of ACTUAL specifics.
Crews broke grown north of Wyoming Street for the first time earlier this year and are constructing portions of what’s intended be a new tech campus. The facility will be occupied by Cognizant-ATG once finished, and additional buildings are planned as part of the tech campus.
Under current zoning restrictions, however, that area of the development only allows some commercial activity on the ground floor and residential uses above. The ground-floor uses are limited, and developers with the Millsite Revitalization Project are seeking changes to allow for more ground-floor opportunities.
Yes, MORE ground-floor opportunities. Like what? Instead of describing what additional opportunities are being denied these developers for ATG/Cognizant, which this zoning change would address, Gluckin tells the public this:
Gluckin said the request adheres to a number of city plans.
“The rezone request complies with the economic health, housing, community design and mixed-use goals of the growth policy, as well as the Downtown Master Plan,” she said. “It will address changing conditions by allowing the existence of non-residential uses that can be supported by current market conditions and fluctuations in market conditions, thereby preventing vacancies.”
The City Council will give the request final consideration next week.
And that’s how this article ends, with City Council prepared to vote next week on this zoning change after Martin Kidston writes up shit articles like this one to help HIDE the specifics in order to PROTECT the political establishment in this town because they DEFINITELY KNOW their development schemes are NOT POPULAR with the people in Missoula who don’t have passive income and other financial supports to rely on as housing costs continue to skyrocket.
I think Martin Kidston has been servicing Democrat politicians for too long. In a 2012 article from the Billings Gazette about Dems paying for attack ads, Martin Kidston is quoted as the MONTANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY SPOKESMAN. It’s a great quote about kinks in pipes (emphasis mine):
The Alumni Association’s treasurer, former Democratic Rep. David Gallik, said he didn’t know who VEGpac’s members were and hadn’t seen its advertising. However, the two groups share the same political philosophy and support candidates who do also. Gallik said the Democratic Legislators Alumni Association began donating to VEGpac after being put in touch with the group by the Democratic Party.
Democrats were frank about the funding connection.
“You’re right, there’s not too many kinks in that pipe,” said Martin Kidston, Montana Democratic Party spokesperson.
And that’s how you write an article with little to no quality information in it.
Thanks for reading!