Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Misguided Citizens for Responsible Development

Patti Tepper and her crew of urban foes in the CWE have now formed a group called Citizens for Responsible Development, a name which I think is rather ironic for this group. Their main goal is to stop Opu's proposal of a 28 floor modern design condo building on the Northeast Corner of the intersection of Lindell and Euclid. Read the article in the West End Word. Their main reason for opposition to the project is the CWE historic district rules which state that buildings should be limited to 10-15 floors. Here's what Carolyn Toft of Landmarks had to say about the rules-

Carolyn Toft, president of Landmarks Association, said that the historic district standards are legislation, but that exceptions and variances can be made. A CWE resident, Toft helped draft the standards more than 25 years ago.

“The question is, is a variance in the best interest of the city and the neighborhood?” Toft said.

Yes, a variance is in the best interest of the neighborhood. Don't hold back a great project because of legislation that may not always be right.

Here's my quick rebuttal to the text on the front page of their site
We are in favor of responsible development that adds value to our CWE neighborhood, our city, and our region.
Than why are you not in favor of this project. Some minor things need to be reworked, but overall it is a high quality development. This 28 floor building will add more value to the neighborhood than a ten floor building on that corner. A two story building with no interaction to the street on a high profile corner will be replaced with 200 condos and retail.
The second Opus Development project, now proposed for the northeast corner of Lindell and Euclid, has been given special treatment by the City of St. Louis: its site has been blighted, it received a TIF, and it violates the Historic District ordinance previously established for all buildings within the neighborhood.

This special treatment sets a harmful precedent for the entire City.
I don't think this is any more special than any other large development project receives. Oh yeah, the historic district. What about all those other buildings over 15 floors on the same block. Talk about a slippery slope. Isn't this what variances are for. Nothing wrong with a 28 floor building with a modern design. 4545 Lindell has a very modern design, why weren't you against that building. That's right, It''s not right in your backyard. you weren't being selfish like you are with this project.

SIGN the Petition against the proposed project by request to:

With these Petitions we will TELL Alderwoman Lyda Krewson to support a building that conforms to the Historic District ordinance for the area.
Please don't sign it, and I don't think it's going to make a big difference anyway.
VISIT the first Opus Development project at Laclede and Euclid to
obseve problems similar to those of the now proposed project at Lindell and Euclid.
I can't quite figure out what they are referring too. Is it because the Park East took a surface parking lot, and gasp, is right up to the sidewalk.
I agree, but but don't be against a project because you are selfish. Like you said, think about the betterment of the neighborhood and the city and region as a whole. The current project is the best option, although I wouldn't be opposed to it being even taller.

I really felt like an alderman defending myself against Elliot Davis of "You Paid for It" on Channel 2. Except I din't make myself look like a completel fool.

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