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Neighborhoods and Commercial Development

January 10, 2013 0 Comments

NeighborhoodsWe can’t allow commercial development to encroach on our peaceful residential neighborhoods.

I was there when Walgreens took two houses for its new Graeser store. There was a big fight to get enough buffer spacing and a masonry fence to protect the houses to the north.

I was there when Fifth Third Bank wanted to take over a lot on Mary Meadows and connect their driveway to that private street.

I was there when the Rose Hill property was rezoned to General Commercial.When the deal with Goddard School fell through, the property kept the commercial zoning and now it can be used for all kinds of businesses without going back for rezoning approval. I spoke for a different approach which would have prevented this result. .(See my editorial, ONE MORE DOMINO, October 21, 2011.)

I was there when Valvoline asked for Sunday hours and neighborhood residents objected. In December, 2011 Valvoline was turned down by a 5-3 vote. Then, only six weeks later, a prominent developer spoke to the Council, and the Sunday hours were approved by a 6-0 vote. Suspiciously, two City Council members did not show up and three changed their vote.

We don’t need a City Council where our representatives disappear or change their votes when developers speak.

If I had been a City Council member I would have been there and voted to protect our neighborhoods in all these cases.

Residents should not have to attend meeting after meeting and hire lawyers to protect their residential neighborhoods from commercial encroachment via visual pollution, noise, traffic, and inadequate buffering.

I have advocated changing the zoning along the east Olive corridor to stop the gradual conversion to GC- General Commercial that is taking place. It is hard to stop the rezoning if minimal legalities are met. Once it’s GC, the protections for residents are inadequate.

I believe good masonry fences make good neighbors. Walgreens put up a masonry fence. But Valvoline got by with a plastic fence, and Goddard will have a metal fence.

I’m for eliminating GC as a future option and creating new zoning rules which would limit the types of businesses and strengthen the buffers. I will demand resident input and buy-in on any changes.

Vote for me April 2- for dependable, consistent representation and to protect our neighborhoods.