An easy solution on Cedar Street

Published 6:28 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

To the editor:

My husband and I are longtime Hall Place residents. I spoke at the July 7 City Council meeting concerning the current Phase 1A design and implementation of the Fairgrounds Revitalization and Redevelopment District, located at what is now being identified as the 184, 186 and 188 Cedar St. lots, near the Cedar Street and Hall Avenue intersection.

At that time, we asked the city to consider changing this very crowded three-lot, three-house design to a much more appealing two-lot, two-house plan, with driveways on the left. This change would showcase the new homes and yards, while also better complementing the beautiful Victorian home next to them.


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Councilman Milteer came by and inspected the area, agreeing with us completely that three homes there would be much too crowded for the space available.

Several years ago, when Fairgrounds was still in the planning stages, Mamie Arrowood, owner of 190 Cedar, joined me in speaking with the lady who was Fairgrounds project manager about this very subject. After talking with us and studying the map very closely, she said she understood Hall Place’s concerns. She said she, too, felt that two lots and two homes would provide for a better quality of life in that area of Hall Place.

You can imagine our feeling when the City informed us that the change the former Fairgrounds Project Manager had endorsed in her office would not be honored.

In a recent “off the record” phone call to her, she remembered the meeting well and stated that our account of the meeting was “accurate.”

The current city manager and planning director have said they are not aware of our meeting or a plan for a proposed change, and that amending the Fairgrounds Plan is not an option.

Councilman Milteer, at the close of the July 7 council meeting, directed the city manager to further explore the matter and get back with us. She said she would, but to date, we have heard nothing further from her regarding this matter.

This strikes me as an awfully aloof and headstrong approach to “getting their way,” rather than acting objectively and in good faith to promote positive community relations.

In this situation, “getting truth and accuracy” would be as simple as placing a call to the former Fairgrounds project manager.

The city seems to have forgotten that we worked hard to help them find a home close to our neighborhood for the Health and Human Services building, because we knew that those who need those services most also need a downtown location.

This Cedar Street housing matter needs to be resolved before additional work is done in the 100 block.

In speaking with the project builder, Ken Jolley, he shared that he would gladly make any changes that the city orders.

So it appears that this matter could be positively resolved in relatively short order if the city decides that it wants to “do the right thing” to help Hall Place.

Sandra W. Parker