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Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:38 pm

snoqueen wrote:I guess it boils down to one question, or maybe one image. Do you want the north shore of the Isthmus to look like the south shore in 20 years?

It doesn't boil down to that, which oversimplifies way past the point of useful comparison. Monona and Mendota are two very different lakes with two very different sets of circumstances (size, zoning, presence/absence of a major traffic artery, to name a few).

snoqueen wrote:From reading what you post over time, I am thinking you would like to see the isthmus's Mendota shore look more like its Monona shore. Also, I get the sense you are in banking or real estate and see it in terms of land dollar value first. (Maybe I'm wrong about that.) Everybody's got their own perspective, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with yours (if I read it right), but I just disagree.


You've read me wrong in fine style, unless you count "owning a home" as "being in real estate." And my business is about as far from banking as you can get. (Those on the forum who know me could confirm.) My house isn't a dollar value to me. It's my small, cozy place to call home in my favorite neighborhood in the world, which happens to bump up against the one we're talking about here. In fact, Langdon IS my neighborhood in real terms, if not in the same historic district.

The reason I'd like to cruise the lakeshore with you is that I adore the varied, beautiful Mendota shore. I spend as much time looking at it as possible, from the lake whenever I can, or from the curving shore itself. I've spent most of my 28 years in Madison living just a few blocks from that shore. And what I see is, I think, much different from what you picture. As I said, I respect your opinion (your read of me aside), so I'd like to try to see what you're seeing.

I find this curious:

snoqueen wrote:The place for tall residential buildings is over on Johnson Street and Gorham Street.


What of Cooltapes' counterparts living on Johnson, or Gorham? No love for the neighborhoods, only for the lakeshore, which in fact is better able to absorb height (due to the sloping shore) than blocks further inland?
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Some good discussion here -- thanks for participating, forum members.

I'm sorry I mis-guessed about your lifestyle, Duca. No insult was meant.

ct wrote:In this case we're also speaking of more than just a shoreline, which in this case wouldn't be visible in the same way as the south shore since there's no equivalent of John Nolen Drive. There is a lakeshore path called for in the long-range city plan, which if it were ever to be built would require seizing that part of all lakeshore properties from James Madison to the Union (including my cooperative house.)


The lakeshore path idea relies on Wisconsin's very old (to the beginning of statehood, I believe) riparian rights laws, which grant public access to the shoreline of any navigable waters to a distance of something like four or six feet (someone else can clear that part up if necessary). It dates back to a time when we-the-people believed natural resources belonged to all the people not just to landowners, so people could, say, fish or travel on our waters and be able to use the shoreline while doing so. I think it's some neat and collectively-oriented legislation. The public gets "rights" (like an easement, sort of) even though some person or entity (the coop, say) actually owns the land. If the city's lakeshore path plan calls for an actual taking, I wasn't aware of it. I thought it was more of an exercise of riparian rights. If I'm wrong please correct me.

I can see why the coop feels like it's in a bind with encroachment from four sides, but the encroachment of the lakeshore path proposal is actually coming from a more cooperative or collective view of ownership versus public good than we are used to seeing today, not -- I think -- a position of condemnation or taking by a government entity. I am not foolish enough to try and sort this out for anybody, but it seems like in principle, coopers would favor more shared use of public resources.

I also think the view from a boat in the water is as important as the view from a highway, incidentally. I know the south approach to the Capitol is sort of a showpiece, but the view from the north -- while less accessible -- is to my mind the real prize.

But that's an aside, sort of. I can easily empathize with the way the coop feels encroached upon and coopers think the whole principle of a historic district is being made a joke. This is what happens to neighborhood plans in the face of big money -- it's predictable -- and every time the neighborhood plan loses, the entire principle of public input and neighborhood organization is weakened. We have to draw the line over and over and over, and the only way to do it is public participation. I am encouraged to know coopers stay long enough to develop a commitment and ties to their neighborhood. You guys might be exactly what saves that fragile neighborhood plan.

duca wrote:What of Cooltapes' counterparts living on Johnson, or Gorham? No love for the neighborhoods, only for the lakeshore, which in fact is better able to absorb height (due to the sloping shore) than blocks further inland?


I'm looking at the condition of a lot of the housing surrounding our newer tall student housing on Johnson/University, in particular. We've talked about how so-called "benign neglect" ends up in demolition. That's just what we've seen on those blocks. Most of the demolition is already done.

In fairness, I think nearly all buildings have a finite useful lifespan. Sometimes it's centuries and sometimes it's a few decades. I would say much of the older housing in that area is 100-110 years old, dating from the early 20th century. It was never top-notch construction and in terms of fire and electrical safety, by now it's pretty alarming. Old wooden three-story houses crowded close together are about as bad as it gets when a fire starts.

The coop, on the other hand, is masonry, was built to higher specifications, and is not as close to its neighbors. These features make it somewhat safer (though being way down a hill doesn't help much in the wintertime). I think it has a more years of useful (and safe) life left than those old two- and three-flats. This is subjective, admittedly, but is much of the basis of why I'm willing to let those buildings go if we can keep the lakeshore neighborhood more or less intact. We want different housing options for different people, and these kinds of choices are one way to get them.

Fortunately I am not the god who has to decide what goes and what stays. Neighborhood organizations, residents, and property owners have more standing to speak up and if their call is that I am wrong here, that's just fine with me.

I disagree the sloping shore is a reason to build taller near the lake. This is subjective, too, but part of what we love about the Isthmus is its profile seen from the water. If we build everything up to the legal height limit (state law) of the shoulders of the Capitol (within the statutory one mile radius) we totally lose that contour. This is the endpoint of what I think is Duca's concept though I'm guessing I am wrong just because I've misread her so far. (So elucidate, OK?)

I'd like to see buildings stepped down the steep shoreline for both esthetic and economic reasons. Stepping adds value to the lots not adjacent to the shore, because they retain lake views that, if the shoreline were built up to the max allowed height, would be blocked.

Prioritizing the value of the lakeshore lots to the detriment of the inland lots works against the principle that the lake (and, in a way, views of the lake) belong to all the people, or at least as many people as possible. If you can't afford the most expensive apartments, you can still see the lake from cheaper ones a few blocks inland. That's a nice thing about stepped -- limited height, proportional height -- development.

The loveliest lake-edge neighborhoods around all our lakes are the ones where a road circles the lake with open land (publicly usable) on its lake side and residences on the inland side (think the south shore across from Brittingham Park). The most disappointing neighborhoods are like the parts of Monona where almost nobody can see the lake unless they own lakeshore property.

It's way too late (and too sloped) to do that on the Mendota shore of the isthmus, but the principle of democratizing access to natural resources is still valuable to me and part of that access is lake view.

That's my immediate reply to both ct and duca. Carry on.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Stebben84 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:20 pm

snoqueen wrote:Taking another approach: what taller buildings in the downtown area do you like today?


I like the metal corrugated condos on Wilson. I know some say it doesn't "fit in" but I like that type of architectural variety. There is an apartment building on University Ave and Basset with a nice copper roof that I like. I also like the Hillel building. The Lorraine condos are a nice historic building. I like the glass building they built by the capital next to the Walgreens. I am also looking forward the the library when it is done.

There are probably more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

Cooltapes wrote:We've seen the construction of the ultra-modern 229 Lakelawn jutting up against the contributing Acacia frat


Is this a problem? Should the building have been faked out to look like it was from 1920. Architectural styles get mixed all the time in every city in America. That's what makes it look interesting.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby narcoleptish » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:43 pm

I've always found that area between the upper part of Langdon and the lake really interesting, and I could see it becoming more popular with long-term residents someday. I bet a majority of people in Madison have never bothered to turn off of Langdon and don't even know what is there. There does seem to be a slow exodus of students moving towards the highrises on Gorham and around Union South. The challenge will be what to do with some of the crappier places when/if students stop choosing to live there. Unfortunately, I think the choices you will see the most of are proposals like this one, or landlords getting desperate and renting to whoever has a couple months rent up front.

The cost of quality rehab makes it very unlikely that many of these places would cash-flow as an income property. There have been changes to fire suppression requirements when remodeling larger buildings that turn would-be investors away. The key I guess will be to somehow attract more long-term residents and ideally a few owner-occupants. Maybe a small-cap TIF district, like the Bassett Neighborhood has (had?) could be in your future? It really is a unique area and even though I'm usually a proponent of taller buildings, I'm glad this one didn't go through.

On the subject of tall buildings, I'm continually looking around and wondering how the approval process could be so much different now than in the not-so-distant past. Take for instance, the Henry Gilman building on the corner of those two streets. There is some brutalist architecture that I admire, but tell me how that vertical storage facility ever got the okay? Or, even better, how about the Schoep's Ice Cream coolers behind Jenny Market? I lived down the street when those went in and I don't remember anybody even mentioning it, they just built them. Can you imagine the neighborhood reaction to Schoep's proposing those things now? I was a kid so I don't remember much, but was it just that neighbors had no say back then or was it that they just didn't care? The idea of dropping two 6-story solid blocks down in the middle of Uber-sensitive Helena St. now, is so fucking laughable..... but it really wasn't that long ago.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Cooltapes » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:28 am

Stebben84 wrote:
Cooltapes wrote:We've seen the construction of the ultra-modern 229 Lakelawn jutting up against the contributing Acacia frat


Is this a problem? Should the building have been faked out to look like it was from 1920. Architectural styles get mixed all the time in every city in America. That's what makes it look interesting.


It's not necessarily a problem on its own terms, in fact it made it into the neighborhood (I hope) partly because it passed the threshold of Recommendation 78. I completely agree that "historical" is not an architectural style. The problem is the sudden rush to build more in the last year in this 3-block area (Wisconsin Ave to N Francis) between Langdon and the lake than has been seen in the past decade, possibly 2 decades. It's the cumulative effect, as though there's some great scramble to do this all of a sudden. A reasonable reading of those recommendations would have us step back and consider the whole neighborhood in light of a proposal, because at this rate we're going to lose any possibility of becoming a local historic district, and I don't want that to happen without us at least being aware of it.

narcoleptish wrote:On the subject of tall buildings, I'm continually looking around and wondering how the approval process could be so much different now than in the not-so-distant past. Take for instance, the Henry Gilman building on the corner of those two streets. There is some brutalist architecture that I admire, but tell me how that vertical storage facility ever got the okay? Or, even better, how about the Schoep's Ice Cream coolers behind Jenny Market? I lived down the street when those went in and I don't remember anybody even mentioning it, they just built them. Can you imagine the neighborhood reaction to Schoep's proposing those things now? I was a kid so I don't remember much, but was it just that neighbors had no say back then or was it that they just didn't care? The idea of dropping two 6-story solid blocks down in the middle of Uber-sensitive Helena St. now, is so fucking laughable..... but it really wasn't that long ago.


The difference mostly comes down to the alder, in this case. We've gone from Mike Verveer to Brenda Konkel to Bridget Maniaci. Verveer would allow neighborhood discussions to take place on a proposal while staying out of the way and letting the discussion develop naturally. No matter what the outcome or your position, you got the sense that you were able to say your peace on the matter and were heard. Brenda pretty much said "not on my watch" which was great if you liked things the way they were, and many people did, if anything I wondered if it was possible a good proposal was overlooked- but for preservationists, no worries. Now we have the opposite, the kind of opportunism which can galvanize a neighborhood to real opposition. As I said, the neighborhood meetings with Bridget were presentations, not conversations. You cannot get feedback when limiting everyone to questions. Ledell Zeller at the first meeting brought up the city plan and was told "we will not be discussing the city plan." (Unless of course, you're Palasades Properties calling for formalization of the Mid Block Path as part of the city plan.) I got the sense that this was a team effort of alder and developer not unlike Bridget and Dave teaming with Edgewater. A dog and pony show. A formality. And not to be a conspiracy theorist about this, but it did seem like they had the second proposal accommodating "neighborhood concerns" in their back pocket. (I do not get the sense that they have a third proposal in their back pocket, so unless I'm wrong we may have more than a few weeks before going through all this again.)
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:07 pm

The problem is the sudden rush to build more in the last year in this 3-block area (Wisconsin Ave to N Francis) between Langdon and the lake than has been seen in the past decade, possibly 2 decades.


I think what you are seeing as a rush to build a bunch of new stuff near campus is the end of the recession in Madison and a resurgence of building activity in sort of a pent-up-demand dynamic.

Is Ledell Zellers still running for Bridget's seat now that B has decided to move on? Who else is running? "We will not be discussing the city plan" indeed. A lot of city and private time and money was spent on that thing and it definitely has standing to be discussed at a planning meeting.

I got the sense that this was a team effort of alder and developer not unlike Bridget and Dave teaming with Edgewater. A dog and pony show. A formality. And not to be a conspiracy theorist about this, but it did seem like they had the second proposal accommodating "neighborhood concerns" in their back pocket.


What you "got" is what's usually the case. There's always a backup plan. They trot their most extreme ideal plan out the first time through, and if it doesn't fly (sometimes it does) they show up with modifications decided ahead of time. It's not even a conspiracy theory, it's standard bargaining procedure.

Here's another one: "we can't build it without such-and-such," announced with a pouty face. When the speaker walks off and disengages, within a year someone else shows up with a perfectly viable plan to build it without such-and-such.

And another: "The state (the DNR, the highway people, whoever) won't let us do that." Always, always check that out for yourself. Very often it's either flat not true, or they'd "let" it be done with very minor modifications.

narcoleptish has a very good point, though, regarding the expense of rehabbing older buildings. All the safety and other requirements can be very, very costly. Some government money is available to help, but you don't necessarily end up with affordable housing. This is when preservation starts to shade into gentrification, which is a whole new can of worms.

Quite frankly, I think gentrifying the area is the only realistic way you're going to keep some of those nice old buildings, the smaller scale, the lakeshore, and other attractive features. I know it's not where we wish things would go, but the way I see it, the alternatives are 1) big tall stuff right up to the edge of the lake; or 2) more decay, and then (1).

Two rocks and a hard place, in a way. The only other alternative is to dial back to 1967 and have more coops buy more old fraternity houses, but that's not happening. Those things were bought for a song. Nobody else wanted them. Hard to imagine, isn't it?

Makes you wonder where the same unrecognized opportunity exists today.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Ducatista » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:24 pm

snoqueen wrote:I disagree the sloping shore is a reason to build taller near the lake. This is subjective, too, but part of what we love about the Isthmus is its profile seen from the water. If we build everything up to the legal height limit (state law) of the shoulders of the Capitol (within the statutory one mile radius) we totally lose that contour. This is the endpoint of what I think is Duca's concept though I'm guessing I am wrong just because I've misread her so far. (So elucidate, OK?)

My knee doesn't jerk at the word "tall," so I must think maxing the height on all lakeshore buildings is best? I don't typically see things in such extremes, sno, and it seems uncharacteristic that you would.

I live in this neighborhood. I travel through it—walking, biking, driving, boating, swimming, and (rarely) skating—at all hours of the day or night, in every season. I adore the lakeshore.

My fondness means I don't want to see an overbuilt, uniform-height lakeshore. And my familiarity tells me that the scale of the shore seen from the lake is far from what most people imagine, and that some lakeshore sites can gracefully accommodate, even benefit from, more height than many would guess. Taller isn't always better. But it's not always worse, either. That's my concept, as you put it.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Stu Levitan » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:04 pm

We are now up to almost two score comments on this thread, from several posters. Did any of you who have felt the need/value of expressing yourself in this chat room also come to the related Landmarks, Urban Design or Plan Commission meetings?
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby narcoleptish » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:41 am

Stebben84 wrote:I like the metal corrugated condos on Wilson. I know some say it doesn't "fit in" but I like that type of architectural variety.


I thought I was the only one who liked that building.

I also like the Nolen Shores condos further down the road and the Grand Central student apartments on W Johnson. I like the picture/plan of the building going up on E Wash. That's going to be 12 stories at least, around the height of the crane they're using. I think E Wash is where the tall buildings belong, east of the Capitol. Then you can do the stepped-down approach as you move towards the lakes, to preserve views and such.


Stu Levitan wrote: Did any of you who have felt the need/value of expressing yourself in this chat room also come to the related Landmarks, Urban Design or Plan Commission meetings?


No. Not that I wouldn't if it was something I felt strongly about, but on this I'm just a distant observer. Plus, after recently watching a segment of a Planning Commission meeting on tv, I don't think I'd have the patience for some of the inane crap people feel the need to discuss. I watched 30 minutes devoted to adding commas and words to one of the official "plans". There was a motion to change a sentence from something like "..use of quality materials..." to "...use of high quality materials...".

Who needs a sleeping pill when there's public access tv?
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:25 am

I've sat through plenty of planning meetings, at various levels, in my time. When a project is four or five miles from where I live, I kinda think I don't have "standing" to come and wrestle with the details.

On the Langdon issue, I see myself as having some maybe-useful input which I am offering in public on this forum. Actual residents are reading this forum. If they have a use for what I said they can integrate it into a presentation which they can make in person. They'll be taken seriously as residents. The ideas are what's important. The residents are the appropriate filter for the plethora of opinions and ideas available.

I love the Plan Commission, by the way. I've always found its deliberations thoughtful, I love detail, I love architecture and have a degree of training in that field. Their meetings are usually very interesting even if I'll never even see the projects under consideration (although Edgewater was enough to drive anybody to drink... and I went to a few of those marathons).

However, probably like any city, we have a few residents who seem to think they need to show up and comment on everything just because they're so fascinated with their own ideas. I do not want to become one of those people, well-meaning though they might be. This is not about me, it's about the projects on the table and the neighborhoods they might affect.

I'm less tuned in to Landmarks, just because my experience has run in a different direction. Their job is extremely important -- it just doesn't fit my available knowledge and perspective as well. We're lucky to have Landmarks.
Last edited by snoqueen on Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:09 pm

ducatista wrote:My fondness means I don't want to see an overbuilt, uniform-height lakeshore. And my familiarity tells me that the scale of the shore seen from the lake is far from what most people imagine, and that some lakeshore sites can gracefully accommodate, even benefit from, more height than many would guess. Taller isn't always better. But it's not always worse, either. That's my concept, as you put it.


Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I actually spent about half an hour driving around the area in question on Sunday, since all the students are gone and I can see through the parking lots and across the streets and get a better view than any other time of year. I wanted to update my mental snapshots. There are more lovely "contributing" buildings left (all enumerated in city planning documents) than I realized, along with sizeable trees and a walkable feel.

There are also a few real eyesores: old three-story houses with cheap metal siding, and a few absurdly tall ones that to my mind are big, irrevocable mistakes. I'm looking at the stretch from Wisconsin Ave around the bend past Francis to Lake, in general. (Pull it up on Google Maps, they've got a fine 3-D view and you can follow what I'm saying next.)

Example. The block between Francis and Lake has the mix I think Duca's approach will yield: the tall round apartment building, another real tall one on the lakeshore, maybe eight original-size smaller buildings in various states of repair/disrepair, and the rest in-betweeners like the Lowell Center, which is what it is. Mendota Court's lakeshore side is lovely and the residents get a green lawn right down to the water. So do the people in a small building at the end of Francis Street. In between is a newer apartment that's got to be 12 or 15 stories tall.

Is this the way you want things to turn out? I think the size disparity is clunky and wrecks the continuity of the shore, but on the other hand the tall-building residents do get great views and density is greater. Two valid viewpoints.

Unfortunately, because the area is in transition over many decades and because it's not effectively governed by anything but a push-pull dynamic every time something new is proposed, we all know anything new built on that block, on the water, is going to be maximum allowable height basically because it can be. So the status quo, unmodified, will trend toward more very tall buildings. Over time, with no countervailing force, that's what we'll see all along the water. I wish I thought someone was going to put up a clean new 3 or-4-story student residence with a big common porch facing the water, but it's not in the cards.

I don't know what timeline you're looking at -- a decade or two? -- but planning is for the very long term, one hopes. With the dynamics we have now, that plan -- old side-by-side with very tall and finally yielding to very tall -- is cast even though it's not verbalized anywhere. It's an organic process but not a deliberately defined one.

With only a few exceptions (the extremely tall gray building midblock between Henry and Carroll being the main one) the next two blocks from Lothlorien nearly to Carroll Street are relatively intact and surprisingly lovely. This scale is what I'd hope we can save, but it would require buy-in from many parties and a lot of work and money.

Unfortunately places like this tend to get eaten away from the edges. The first block I discussed (Lake to Francis) is already half eaten-away. The Edgewater decision starts the eating-away from the upper end of the street, though it really began back in the 70s when the insurance building replaced a couple old mansions. That building still looks odd right next to the E. Gilman-Pinckney original houses. That's what makes a city, though -- counterpoint and contrast. Because it's got enough green space around it, I don't hate the whole thing as it is today. It tells a story, in a way.

So do you want to stick with the organic change model and accept the trendline, which is toward bigger and taller? Or do you want to legislate a small area preserving features many people like? Non-interference is itself a plan, and it's the way most cities develop so it's not unprecedented and not, really, unpredictable in its course.

We haven't yet talked about the type of community a particular physical environment fosters. The community among residents of the coops, the small houses, and the frats (totally different social worlds) is way different from the community in a high-rise. I've lived in the little places but never in a high-rise, and I'm not aware any internal community even exists in those. (Correct me if you know better.) This is part of planning too, even though it isn't written out in paragraphs on a city document. Is keeping a place for people who want a certain type of community desirable, or is it social engineering in a negative sense?

That's why I think defending one or the other should be up to the people who live there and not to me, some woman who lives five miles away. If people really want something because it affects their lives, that's when discussions about more than money become real.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby swimmingupstream » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:26 pm

Stu, why do you have to be such a Joy kill, especially on Christmas?
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby doppel » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:56 pm

swimmingupstream wrote:Stu, why do you have to be such a Joy kill, especially on Christmas?


Hey, hey, HEY. Lighten up on Mr. Levitan. He posted on Christmas eve, not Christmas.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:58 pm

Not trying to be a kill-joy, swimmer, just curious why people would spend so much time and energy posting lengthy commentaries in a chatroom, rather than deliver those comments where they could actually make a difference, or at least have some kind of impact.
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Re: Don't Demolish. Rehab! Iota Ct/Henry St Redevelopment?

Postby gargantua » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:53 pm

Apparently you're reading them Stu, so perhaps the comments have at least SOME impact.

Speaking only for myself, it is simply easier to sit at home and express my thoughts without having to go to a meeting and speak in public. Speaking in public is not in itself a deterrent for me, but the majority of people I know dread the prospect.

More importantly, speaking again only for myself, I don't think public comment on development issues matters much, unless public sentiment is simply overwhelmingly in favor of or opposed to a given issue.

Take for example the Landmarks original decision on the Edgewater proposal. The developer and previous mayor got a supermajority of the council to override it. And I'm supposed to believe that a few Forons testifying at committee meetings can have much of an impact? Sorry, I just don't see it.

I haven't commented on this thread until now because I'm not sure what should be done. Like Duca, tall buildings of themselves don't make my knee jerk. But I also share some of Sno's discomfort about the future appearance of this part of our beautiful city. I am left to hope that our leaders and future developers don't muck it up.
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