Conservation a good fit for Hall Place

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

In the history of the Hall Place Community Association, at no time has there been a situation that has divided the neighborhood like the current push by several new members for Historic District status.

This is not good for our community, and unless something is done, people will continue to grow apart.

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A lot of the good people living in the target area (the S. Main

& Cedar St. oval) and throughout Hall Place are of modest means, with many of them living on a fixed income. Some are the moms, dads, and other relatives of people I grew up with, and they are special people, who want so much to stay in Hall Place, because it is home to them.

These good folks, who have been here through good times and bad, are truly the heart and soul of Hall Place, and have earned the right to be treated with respect and not have their current quality of life drastically altered.

They just got hit with an exorbitant tax increase. What they need is tax relief, not the prospect of even higher taxes and costly and unnecessary permission fees and restrictions before making needed repairs.

These proud, independent people don’t deserve to be plagued with these hardships.

When an attempt is made to force the Historic District status on this or any other established neighborhood when we have a very successful Conservation District in place and our neighborhood is clearly not ready for the other, everyone loses because of the financial hardships to some of our residents, and the general ill will that is generated through the uncomfortable process.

The longtime residents want to welcome and work with the new folks, not fall victim to a lot of immediate changes in their personal quality of life that will likely drive taxes even higher and will bring them property repair fees and restrictions.

Historic District status is fine and very appropriate for neighborhoods that are ready to take that step.

We have a list of ongoing initiatives that our core PAC group has been working on for a number of years.

Hall Place Park and our beautiful neighborhood sign are just a couple of the many things that have been achieved through the hard work of our group. Coach lamps are being installed, and various other positive things are on the horizon. We are making good headway with our Conservation District that is unique in all of Hampton Roads and was personally crafted in conjunction with Mrs. Clarissa McAdoo and Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, for our geographic area and our residents.

It was selected over the Historic District for Hall Place because it was a better fit for us and did not carry the fees and restrictions that our residents did not want. None of the speakers I heard at HPCA meetings gave an accurate picture of potential costs involved (increased taxes, fees, etc.) or additional down side issues (repair permission, restrictions, etc.).

They need to have Mrs. McAdoo come to a meeting soon and give all those in attendance an informative lesson on just how hard our folks have worked on this program and how special it is to Hall Place.

Communities thrive when there is a meshing of established residents and new residents, working together for the betterment of the neighborhood.

We need to work more closely with Neighborhood Development Service, calling them for assistance on codes issues, when necessary, and seeing the matters through to a satisfactory conclusion.

It is time to make our very special Conservation District that was designed just for us, all it can be. Imagine what we could all accomplish by having the same goals and working together to achieve them!

The sky would be the limit!

Baker Parker