Differences of opinion

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A few city council members argued over new criteria Tuesday night that would allow the city to rezone properties without consulting a master plan process.
    
The new policy shift is meant to guide staff more thoroughly through the zoning process. Councilman Paul Smedberg said he mostly agreed with and understood the new criteria but thought there should have been more discussion given the public uproar from residents earlier this year. 
    
Residents speaking at a public hearing this summer worried the policy would encourage overdevelopment and unwanted density. A work session among council members would have been helpful, Smedberg said.
    
This is more important, quite frankly, than our work session tonight, he said. Its a big policy shift.
    
Vice Mayor Kerry Donley thought there had been enough talk.
    
We are elected to make decisions. I prefer that we would make that tonight, Donley said.
    
Smedberg and Councilwoman Del Pepper both informed Donley they were well aware why they were elected and I make my decisions after a good bit of careful thinking, Pepper said.
    
The decision was not to adopt the new policy, but to schedule a vote for Saturdays public hearing. All council members encouraged residents speak at City Hall then if they are concerned.

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