In a recent conversation with District 14 Plan Commissioner Bob Weiss, I asked how the economy was affecting the city’s planning and zoning cases. Let’s put it this way: The normally swamped commissioners have a lot more time on their hands these days.

"Our whole caseload is low. We’re like a canary in the mine," Weiss told me. "They might accelerate, but judging just from what we’re reading each week, it’s low." He mentioned the JPI case adjacent to the Trinity River that is subject to foreclosure as one example of what’s happening, and says that developers are laying low. "I’m not getting any calls from anybody, even a heads up."

"So Whole Foods will be a bright light," Weiss says. Another bright spot in the toll the recession is taking on development and redevelopment is that it could make way (eventually) for smaller, more neighborhood-focused projects, as Jeff Siegel alluded to in the February cover story.

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