Commissioner Amanda Fritz officially unveiled her plan to move Right 2 Dream Too out of Chinatown some three weeks ago—announcing, to a crowded conference room in city hall, the end of a hard-fought legal fight between the rest area, its landlords and the city.
That tentative settlement, copies of which were distributed just before Fritz took the lectern, laid out an ambitious 30-day timetable for getting the highly controversial move wrapped up. If everyone had signed it then, that would have put the deadline in early October—or, you know, about a week or so from now. But, as it turns out, the document wasn't signed that day. One of the plaintiffs was in the hospital—putting things off.
So when did the settlement get legal? This weekend. Fritz tells me she finally wrote her name on it late Friday—the same day her office released the Bureau of Development Services' roadmap for the move—and just a week before a city council hearing that could determine if that plan goes forward. The actual deadline will now fall in late October.
"I wanted to be the last one to sign it," Fritz says.
The extra time has certainly helped. It gave BDS some lead time to come up with a finding that Right 2 Dream Too is a "community service" allowed on the parking lot Fritz is offering beneath the Broadway Bridge's Lovejoy ramp. Fritz's colleagues will approve or reject that approach this Thursday, giving the rest area's organizers a bit of a cushion as they negotiate a "use agreement" with the city, including a good neighbor agreement with Pearl neighbors.
But if the council disagrees with BDS—if the council doesn't think Right 2 Dream Too can open on the Lovejoy lot without a more rigorous and time-consuming land-use review? Fritz will be back in a room with lawyers. Is that likely? City hall sources suggest it's not, noting Fritz has been working closely with the mayor. But Fritz knows what the next step would be.
"If it can't be accomplished in short order," she says, "we would have to renegotiate the settlement agreement."