In the "other" blog today, there's a suggestion that the Lincoln40 developers were more considerate of the neighbors, than the Trackside developers. And, presumably by extension, this means that Lincoln40 should have been approved, but not a 4-story Trackside.
It certainly is possible that the Lincoln40 developers were more considerate of neighbors than the Trackside developers. (Of course, this ignores the fact that Trackside is IN the neighborhood, while Lincoln40 is separated by the railroad line.)
But, it misses the point. Immediate neighbors aren't the "only ones who matter", regarding proposals. Lincoln40 will have a far larger impact on the city as a whole, vs. a small 3-4 story proposal such as Trackside. (This is not the same thing as saying that one should support Trackside in its current iteration.)
To further illustrate, you might have a bunch of students appearing before the council (e.g., supporting Lincoln40), and a bunch of neighbors appearing to oppose Trackside. But, if the council only listens to those who show up at a hearing, they might very well favor a proposal that has a more harmful impact to the city, as a whole.
The "other" blog also repeatedly suggests that no market-rate rental housing has been approved in recent years, but fails to address how many have actually been proposed. There's also no comparison with the (lack of?) market-rate proposals in other cities, which would likely reflect the impacts of the recession and housing market crash. In other words, any conclusion that the city has been "remiss" in approving market-rate housing is not necessarily accurate.
And of course, the "other" blog fails to mention the lack of commitment to build sufficient housing on campus, in recent years. And, it ignores the fact that students can live on campus, but others cannot. Which begs the question, regarding why the city should approve housing that is essentially designed almost exclusively for students, and why the city should assume the costs and impacts of those decisions without fully considering them. (There's been very little study regarding the fiscal impacts, for example. Or, the impact on non-students who may have benefited from a more traditional design.)
Nor has there been much discussion of the impact of eliminating even more commercial space, to accommodate housing. Or, the impact that this dense housing will likely have on traffic and parking in the city/downtown area.
In any case, these are the type of issues that one might not gauge accurately, based upon who shows up at a given council meeting.