Whenever developers try to sell our community on how their product will enhance the quality of life of Salemtown, I've learned to weigh the merits of those claims based on how they maintained their lots and structures before they pursued rezoning. I did so back in 2008 before the "Concept G" development went in at the same 6th and Garfield intersection.
Keeping with my past practice, I went over to take pictures of the overgrown and trashy properties at 1628 and 1630 6th Av N. It was definitely not the worst condition I've seen the properties in, given that it is winter and the plant growth is minimal this time of year, but the tallest growth is still well past the allowed 12 inches.
And it is just as littered with garbage as I've ever seen it (I walk our dog by the properties on a regular basis). The current property owner has been in charge of the land for over 4 years, according to Metro Planning maps. To my knowledge, they have always been neglected and poorly maintained, with grass and weeds typically too high, as in, "growing past the limits of municipal codes".
In my opinion, how an owner manages the condition of his property, how she maintains the quality of life in her personal space before any development takes place is a predictor of how he or she will build to the benefit of the rest of the community. No sales pitch a developer can make about future designs will be as reliable an indicator of quality as how the owner manages and cleans the space before buildings are built, groomed, and staged for sale.
I will be evaluating this rezoning request not just on the plan proposed, but on how the property owner has maintained the quality of life (or not) since 2007.
UPDATE: The grass and weeds on these lots reached as high as 5 feet last summer.