Vito Pavlovic is a charming, good man who has been stubborn as all heck. Mr Pavlovic has illegally turned a 4plex in Dallas into a 12plex. He freely admits this. He says part of the reason he has increased the number of suite is so he can provide affordable rental housing opportunities in a very low vacancy market. He also admits that his building contravenes building code provisions.
Now Mr Pavlovic has applied to get his 12plex legitimized. He says, if he is successful in getting a rezoning, he will bring the building into compliance with all the codes.
City staff recommended we turn down the request to take this matter to public hearing. They have tried to get Mr Pavlovic to bring his proposal down to 8 units, an amount they might be able to support. But, brazenly considering his situation, Mr Pavlovic refused to move.
Yesterday, Council voted. I really don't agree with how Mr Pavlovic has approached this, although I like him very much, and I really think we need more affordable housing. I think that the building codes and zoning bylaws are a product of a very important process and mindset - these things protect us.
My thought was that I would wait until all the other members of Council had indicated their support / non support, and if it was tied, I would vote not to send the matter to public hearing. I knew the vote would be close.
On the other hand, if it was clear by the time I spoke that Mr Pavlovic was going to get his public hearing, I would try to get some reassurances that the city would inform Mr Pavlovic tenants of the possible issues with the building...
....and then in the interests of Council solidarity or something like that, I would vote for the public hearing myself. Maybe I thought that way because I did not want to unnecessarily go against Mr Pavlovic at this point in the process. The matter has not been decided, the vote in question was just to send the matter to a public hearing and a decision at that point.
It is the latter that ultimately transpired.
Today, although its not the end of the world, seeing my name on the public hearing side in the paper, just is not sitting well.
I think I am more comfortable as a person just voting my principles and gut, as much as I can. You live and you learn.
It is a real challenge sifting through all the issues in any given matter, and figuring out what the best course of action. One that you can personally live with, one that is good for the community. The learning curve will always continue.
I will keep an open mind at the public hearing. After I hear much more input I am sure, I am not sure how I will vote. What I think I have learnt so far is that I have to be me.