Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Salemtown Single-Family House that the Neighborhood Helped Build in 2007

This new home going up on 6th Avenue North is not exactly a Habitat for Humanity House, but without the hard work of the Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association this single-family home would not have been built. It would have been a duplex rather than a detached home large enough for a family to inhabit. Salemtown leaders (and a few Germantown folk) worked hard e-mailing, making phone calls, walking petitions around the neighborhood, and speaking at Public Hearings to insure that such a home as this would be built in a neighborhood quickly super-saturating with attached duplexes and townhouses. The two other properties on the far side of the house in the picture currently contain blighted triplexes, but they are re-zoned for two single family homes should the triplexes be torn down without a new re-zoning process taking place.

We are grateful that the developers with Salem Gardens properties did not continue to fight the re-zoning that neighborhood leaders asked for from the Planning Commission and the Metro Council. I am particularly gratified--as the association representative who made the case for a single family home to the Planning Commission and as the only news source anywhere covering these hyper-local developments--to see the our expectations for the neighborhood come to fruition, if only a-property-at-a-time. This was perhaps the highest watermark for progress, balance, and diversity in Salemtown developments in 2007, and I would count it as one of the more significant moments for Enclave this year and a testament to the difference hyper-local blogging makes in neighborhoods that are at a disadvantage to developers at the Planning and Council levels.

Thanks again to the Salem Gardens partnership (who can still build duplexes on the adjoining properties in the foreground of the photo), but the biggest thanks goes to the Salemtown leaders who live here.

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