Stopping lot splitting; one property at a time
It's unfortunate that neighbors need to appeal each house and plat of land one at a time. Wednesday night the issue was with a house on the corner of Hardee and Braganza. The house is being torn down and the plans are to replace the one house with two houses. In the process, a 100 year old tree was taken down; a lady said the remaining trunk is six feet high, that's how large the tree was. Neighbors put pressure on the developer, Eduardo Goudie, and it worked, the developer admitted that the appeal has cost him a lot of money, by making all the changes and hiring architects to change the plans, etc. So money may be the bottom line in cases like this.
Two principle speakers, both Johns, John Snyder and John Dolson, who live across from each other in the South Grove neighborhood, did their homework on the subject. They had well thought out PowerPoint presentations of the demolitions which are an every day occurrence in the Grove these days. They had facts, figures, photos, diagrams and spoke eloquently. Neighbors helped the Johns to get signatures and draw interest in the issue. A few audience members spoke and Commissioner Ken Russell was present, but he did not speak.
Neighbor Harry Gottlieb spoke, he stated that, "This all came about because of concerned Grovites. It must not be necessary for us to arrive at City Hall to battle each project. It is up to Planning & Zoning to obey our laws and protect our neighborhoods." The audience applauded with gusto to Harry's statement.
In the end, Mr. Eduardo Goudie, the developer, who planned to build two houses on the corner of Braganza and Hardee acquiesced to building only one in the end, but I wonder if he can be trusted, you may remember that Mr. Goudie had planned to destroy the house on St. Gaudens recently, until neighbors stepped in. Maybe this haunting by Grove neighbors will chase Mr. Gaudie away from future Grove destruction.
The Johns and audience insisted on a covenant. There is no covenant as of today, the PZAB continued the hearing to July 20 in order to give the developer time to offer a covenant, they were leaning toward granting the appeal.
Too many properties are being destroyed because the Planning & Zoning Department just doesn't care. I've been told by many that they allegedly work on bribes, but I have no proof. Yet.
"Waivers have been used to circumvent the intent of the code, further building four homes on what should have been one single-family building site is not a minor deviation," says John.
Will the city agree that no permit will be issued for construction of more than one single family residence be built on the subject property? They say yes, but again, what about all the other properties?
"We owe a debt of gratitude to our two Johns efforts for their research, knocking on doors, meeting with P&Z, Comm. Russell and the City Attorney as well as officially filing an Appeal to halt the demolition to prevent the split zoning until this issue could be addressed." said Harry Gottlieb.
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Photos by Rafael Gutierrez
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