Thursday, December 29, 2005

More on the Mews

This weeks Pelican Press editorial echoes our feelings about the proposed tower next to Library Mews:

Next Monday night, the city commission will consider allowing a 10-story tower to be built adjacent to the east end of Library Mews, effectively cutting off all privacy and sunlight from that direction, not to mention jamming another 200 cars a day into the alley behind the Mews.

If the commission approves this project, an elegant, prize-winning city living design will be dwarfed by a monster no one with a straight face can call attractive. In its zeal for developing “affordable housing,” the city commission has rushed into massive density increases.

Does anyone seriously believe the added density being requested for this 10-story tower will produce any affordable housing? Of course not.

Does the city commission have to approve this massive shaft, the equally massive “spa” at its base and the added density needed to enable it? Of course not.

There are many good reasons to preserve the elegant two and three-story neighborhood surrounding Selby Library. There are even more reasons not to disfigure it with the proposed 10-story tower.

We call upon the city commission not to maim a showcase downtown neighborhood, but to equally protect the property rights of the visionaries who supported downtown early, when that support was still a gamble – when frankly, most believed it was a risky investment.

First of all, city commissioners should do no harm – they should especially not allow the pioneers at Library Mews to be harmed by a frankly opportunistic development.

At some point the commissioners get the message: enough is enough. What has happened to human scale and compatibility? Squeezing 10 story and higher building onto tiny lots does not make sense.

[Note: we have just heard that this proposal will not be heard next week, we will post the new date when it is announced.]

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