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CENTRAL SPEAKS

January 21, 2016 • Daily News at CentralSpeaks.com

Good News
for a
Great City!

City Knew of TND Traffic Concerns
City Zoning Expert’s Email to Mayor Shelton Cited Negative Traffic Impact on City

Investigative Report by Dave Freneaux


A November public records request has revealed an April 24, 2015,
email (see image at right) in which Central’s zoning attorney Mark Balkin
advised Mayor Junior Shelton that the traffic generated by the proposed Shoe
Creek TND was “not going to serve the people living in the development
or the traffic already on Sullivan” and suggested that “before final plan
approval is granted for any part of the development” the Council should
resolve the extension of Wax Road to Hooper Road. Instead, Central’s City
Council eventually approved the TND with entrances routing all traffic onto
Sullivan Road.
In the email, Balkin, whom Mayor Shelton and city council

members refer to as the City of Central’s “expert” in zoning matters, tells
Mayor Shelton and Planning and Zoning Director Woodrow Muhammad:
“It doesn’t require a traffic engineer to know that one entrance onto
Sullivan and one to Sagebrush is not adequate. Similarly, sending virtually
all traffic to Sullivan (whether directly or from Wax Rd. a few hundred
yards away) is not going to serve the people living in the development or
the traffic already on Sullivan.”

In their recommendation to the council, the planning commission
staff does not mention the email and zoning attorney Mark Balkin’s expert
opinion that if the TND’s only entrances routed traffic onto Sullivan
Road and through Morgan Place subdivision, the added traffic would be a
problem. As approved by the council, the Morgan Place entrance has been
eliminated, and the TND’s only entrances will empty onto Sullivan Road.

Balkin’s email was obtained as part of a public records request
initiated on November 9. After the city had failed to respond to the public There is no indication that city council members were made aware of this
records request for over a month, a public records lawsuit was heard and email and important opinion from the city’s own expert prior to their vote to
Judge Don Johnson instructed the city to release the documents. The approve the TND.
documents, including Balkin’s email, were finally released in late December.
See Email on Page 3.

CHS Basketball
in Full Swing

Photo by Expressions Photography

On Saturday, the Central Chamber of Commerce hosted the 10th annual Krewe
de Centrale Mardi Gras Ball at St. Alphonsus. The evening was filled with music by The David St. Romain Band.
This year’s Mardi Gras King is former Central Councilman Aaron Moak, and Mardi Gras Queen is Suzonne Cowart.
Both are known for their faithful participation in good causes and charitable efforts around the Central community.
Turn to page 7 for more Mardi Gras Ball photos.

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Tune in to FM 91.9 at
5 p.m. today as Coaches Sid
Edwards and Steve Johnson get
a first-hand update on Central
High Hoops. Guests will include
Head Basketball Coach Brian
Hargroder and his players.

Sports Central airs live
every week from Coaches Grill at
the new end of Wax Road behind
CVS and Cane's. The show also
airs live on the TuneIn Radio app
on any smartphone.