Monday, August 25, 2008

More from the Blue Grass State - Lexington's Own Twilight Zone

If imitation is, indeed, the most sincere form of flattery, I should be flattered. Instead, I am just happy to see someone else take on the local mugwumps and self-proclaimed kahunas of academe. My blog entry of 17 August entitled “Singing the Single Family Blues in the Bluegrass State” (Click here to read that entry) described a single family zoning situation in Lexington, Kentucky, similar to the one we find in Bellingham. Citizen activist, Dennis Duross, in Lexington has launched his own blog, akin to Twilight Zoning in Bellingham. His blog, entitled Pigs in the Parlor can be found by clicking here.

Interestingly, Dennis' blog entry cites another US Supreme Court decision on zoning, Euclid v. Ambler Real Estate. (Click here to read about that decision.) Regarding the results of landlords packing rentals Dennis states, “…as noted 82 years ago in the US Supreme Court decision Euclid v Ambler Realty Co. …these are but symptoms of crowding a temporary population into spaces and places that were never intended to accommodate them, and that the zoning law (which that decision upheld as valid) does not allow."

1 comment:

mxsticker said...

FYI – one member of sunnyland neighborhood reported they had an amenable talk with the property owner on Aug 20th. The property owner reiterated that he absolutely will not be beholden to the city or any government's rules as for affordable housing. Many of us were present on Thursday night, when he explained / avoided making any clear monetary cost of unit, or lot size, when asked what he thought of as “affordable”.

The idea of a “park” with pedestrian/ biking access to neighborhood to build community is something I hear a lot of support for – I have this query: If you are coming or going to/ from Sunset / Illinois, why would you go part way down Illinois to cut through to Sunset. You are accessing James, Ellis, or Sunset itself, so what is the benefit? If you are headed eastbound on Sunset you would enter and cut through to Illinois and then detour down one of the side streets. Why is that better than just going down Ellis to Illinois by bike or walking? If you are coming from Illinois, you can’t cross Sunset there, so we assume you are also headed East. Why is that better than taking Illinois to James. I have to say, I at first supported this idea, but now it makes no sense to me, as the whole idea is to avoid being on Sunset. Entering and exiting in mid road serves No purpose I can see. Please enlighten me as to why people feel this is so necessary.
Also please note the city has on its agenda that they need to create “public space for the citizens to meet, talk, and play”. I heard AHBL use that language in responding to our wanting a link to this area of development, as if that would be our space to fit this need. I have a problem with this as it is not centrally located, is in size very small and we should be determining where that space will best suit our neighborhood not them. I encourage you/us, as a neighborhood to come up with our own ideas of creating "Public Space" within our neighborhood. We will need to then make it part of our neighborhood plan.

We need to insist that we have a contract between the city, developer and us to assure we get what we agree to. There are other neighborhoods that voted on nice pictures and did not get what they agreed to in the way of actual buildings in their neighborhood.