For the record, in the half-a-dozen or mixed use requests that I have encountered in the 8 years I've lived here, I have supported some and opposed some, but I have never dismissed the idea of mixed use.
However, I have to say that I have never seen such enthusiastic, blind faith in mixed use as recently expressed by the Salemtown association's Executive Board. They seem prepared to embrace any and all mixed use around the neighborhood regardless of consequences that are clearly observable in other North End neighborhoods.
They sent out a survey that misleads about what will go into mixed use in Salemtown and that double loads mixed use with a conservation overlay, which itself opens a host of other problems and questions before the mixed use issue is even resolved. Here is the first 2/3rd's of the survey with some of my responses written in:
Yep. I called the survey exactly the way I see it: push-polling (a poll that does not really poll but instead biases people's responses).
Even the small amount of space for comments limits feedback. A couple of sentences in the comment section can barely express the empirical evidence around us weighted against claims that mixed use without businesses-at-hand will enhance our quality of life.
But I have this chronicle on Salemtown with all the space I require to cite the plain evidence that weighs against blind rezoning efforts.
|Boarded- up retail space in mixed-use development, corner of|
4th Av N & Monroe St., Germantown (Google Maps, 2009)
Given that a mixed use property can sit idle and boarded for years in Germantown (very near very popular City House restaurant), why should we assume that Salemtown would fare any better? In fact, I would assume that it would take us even longer than renowned Germantown to attract clients for any mixed use built here. Other small businesses in Germantown in mixed use properties (including a coffeeshop) have cut back their business hours for lack of customers. Why would we assume that Salemtown would provide enough foot traffic to keep such businesses open if Germantown cannot? It seems to me we should be supporting and patronizing struggling Germantown businesses, within walking distance of our homes, rather hoping that demand for businesses will pop up simply because we rezone properties here.
|Bail bonds business will be mixed use|
less than 5 blocks from Salemtown.
Let's consider mixed use. But let's consider the merits of each request as they come from developers rather than putting the cart before the horse, as this "Salemtown Survey" does. And for Pete's sake, let's hope that our association officers can send us more objective and neutral future surveys to live up to the appearance of gathering information.