31 MAR 04: PARK PLACES
The Columbus Council rejected a proposal Tuesday to build low-income apartments across the street from Flat Rock Park. It's easy to see why the vote went this way. We need to keep title pawn shops as far south of Macon Road as we can.
Councilor Evelyn Turner Pugh told WRBL why she opposed the proposed apartment development: "Where you have a lot of residents, it should stay residential." What does THAT mean? If people who live in apartments aren't residing in them, what are they doing?
(Well, OK - maybe they ARE using those apartments for Metro Squad drug stings....)
Councilor Gary Allen said many of his colleagues were concerned about the size of the apartment development. It would have 128 units merely in "Phase 1." If other phases match it, before long Flat Rock Park will be Columbus's answer to Atlanta's Piedmont Park - walled in by skyscrapers.
Even with the Council vote against the apartment development, zoning near Flat Rock Park still allows for construction to begin. Developer Gary Hall simply wanted city backing for his plan. The Council hasn't "got his back" - but Hall's turning
it to them anyway.
Tuesday's Council vote followed a testy meeting about the proposed apartments Monday night at Blanchard Middle School. One opponent of the project said while she's for one Columbus, "I don't want their South coming to my North." So
why don't you move your North to their South, and try to improve the property values there?
Developer Gary Hall took offense to the complaints of homeowners, who fear "low-income apartments" will ruin their neighborhood. Maybe he has a point. After all, the Peabody Apartments made Three Arts Theatre look so attractive for
Someone pointed out Tuesday the proposed "low-income apartments" near Flat Rock Park are affordable for the income range of Columbus police officers and firefighters. Either this was a cynical comment by the Fraternal Order of Police - or the design plans should be adjusted to build a precinct inside that complex, just like Baker Village.
The core issue in this debate is whether low-income housing should be located in all sections of Columbus - even in areas considered well-to-do. We could flip the coin and suggest high-end housing be built in low-income neighborhoods. But enough people winning lottery jackpots ought to take care of that....
BLOG UPDATE: Columbus law officers began three-day classes in "servant leadership" Tuesday at Columbus State University. I'm still not sure about this idea - because police may decide to serve more arrest warrants and speeding tickets.
COMING THURSDAY: Free hockey at the Civic Center at 11:00 a.m.?! We may have to change our plans....
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