While I agree green space on parcel 5 is less than desirable what are the real options? Ideally we would want office space but downtown has a 20+% vacancy rate for office space even after so much has been converted into housing. Commercial is not going to happen due to downtown density problems. There are too few people to support large commercial and those that are downtown ride the bus. The commercial which would work for bus riders is non compatible with the high end housing which is going in downtown. While residential is presently working downtown most of it is heavily subsidized and has long term tax breaks. Finally residential will prevent other higher uses which is what we want. A casino is a terrible idea as it will destroy any commercial opportunities downtown. White a casino or the preforming arts center would both be tax free.
As a result of there being no real options perhaps the best we can do is wait on this property and see where downtown goes. And the best way to hold this property without looking like a vacant hole in our city is with a park.
Why should Uber be allowed to come in and provide a service identical to a taxi's without following the rules for taxi's. If they want to enter the Rochester market then they should follow the rules. If cab prices are too high perhaps the problem is the regulation which could be lessened.
Actually the city can control the sale of alcohol as the state law allows municipalities to set hour regulation for the sale of alcohol. So if the city wants to limit alcohol sale to 9pm then they have to do it for all establishments that sell alcohol. The problem is that they used zoning to do this and this is not okay. Zoning is for the size, placement, and use of buildings in general, not for the control of internal operations of these structures. Judges have ruled on this several times and the state comptroller has this question as an FAQ on their page. The city knew this when they passed the legislation but they were doing something illegal because people wanted something. So in the end it cost over $300,000 to have this law.
The craziest thing about this is that there is an excellent way to deal with corner stores which do things wrong and that is law enforcement. 3 illegal sales of tobacco, alcohol, or lotto tickets, will have the business and the site lose the right to sell these products. The same is true of SNAP or food stamps. If residents want these stores gone go in and take a picture of a loose cigarette being sold or an underage person buying alcohol. The police also need to do stings on this. Only this way will the corner stores be cleaned up and then council can stop passing illegal laws which cost the city hundred of thousand of dollars.
For the more than 40 year this sort of project has been springing up on our coastlines all across this nation. These projects seem to be part of a process of privatization which is been slowly excluding the public and particularly the public of color from water access. Scholarly studies, like http://www.cityprojectca.org/blog/wp-conte…, have demonstrated this beyond a doubt.
I think it is not out of line to ask the question if this project is part of a process which will privatize our presently public beach. After all it has take some beach property, has replaced some property which has customarily been used by the beach for parking, and has had a zoning change which makes it much harder for the public to stop further development. It seems that all safe guards which use to protect this beach have been removed.
This would be okay if our leaders were going to protect our beaches but this project has shown our local government is unresponsive to the public's concern. Over and over polls have shown the public is opposed to this project from an RBJ poll to polls done at public meetings, to a survey is letters to the editor. Yet despite a mayoral promise by Lovely Warren to stop if the public opposed this project, it has been nothing but full steam ahead. Even when significant technical problems arose with the adjacent marina the city continued to pour money and support into this project.
So while I do not live in Charlotte I fear this is only the first step toward privatization of our coastline and one which will adversely affect our poor community.
I have often wondered about the legality of a local government passing ethic laws for all politicians which represent this area. For example what about Rochester passing a law making it illegal to vote for things they received money from a group which would benefit from that vote. Sure this would be a ticketed offense which could only be written if the politicians visited the area but perhaps it is a way to try to enforce ethic reforms at a local level where it is easier to pass legislation.
Perhaps Bill you are being a little harsh but lets not pretend that there will be any taxes on this land. Right now there are 6 acres of land in the old mid town site which no one wants. There seems to be little demand for this property and it seems unlikely there will be demand when more space enters the market. Further in order to get Windstream to build there we had to give them $10.7 million in cash and assistance. Finally very few of the big projects pay any real taxes at all and with our present leadership there seems to be no reason to believe any new development will pay taxes. Look at the Windstream building, this building was built for $18.9 million yet it pays only $21,280.60. The same is true for almost all these projects. The important thing Bill has pointed out is that the land here should not be seen as a benefit as we are creating it for a mere $3.5 million and acre. The value of this project is in the need to fix deteriorating infrastructure and, I feel, it is unfortunate that filling something in with dirt is the best we could afford.
With our poverty level over 34% and our children poverty level at 54% perhaps it is time to start accepting that these are the reasons our city schools are failing. This is exactly what the mayors of our city should be focusing on as this would improve our schools. Yet in the last 15 years poverty has increased more than 25%. If our mayors fail so badly to deal with poverty why would we trust them with the schools?
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