After being without a social committee chair for almost two years, we finally have had a volunteer step forward and take the position. We are pleased to welcome Anne Marie Cummings to this job! Over the last few months the NMCA board discussed several possible functions and we hope that we will see some of them finally happen. The first such event will be an Afternoon Party in the Park, which will include a family oriented pot luck dinner with music and games to follow. Possible dates would be April 18th or 25th. In order for this to happen, though, Anne Marie needs volunteers for her committee. If you are willing to help with this and any subsequent events, please let Anne Marie know by emailing us.
For the past few years the Beautification Committee has maintained a plot located at the Rite Aid at the corner of Stone and Main. Unfortunately, the “committee” has mostly been Jo Anne Conner and she needs help with the weeding, planting and maintenance of this space! Please let us know if you will commit a little time during the year by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
On January 22, the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals upheld the decision of the zoning administrator to clean up the Shinola property on Mohawk Drive. Mr. Woods had ruled that there was so much used furniture and other items stored outside that it constituted a principal use of the structure, and that Outdoor Storage is not a permitted use in the C-2 zone. He gave Mr. McDaniel, the owner, thirty days to clean up the property or face a fine. Mr. McDaniel appealed the ruling. Bob Bainbridge, Nell Stewart, and Mike Cubelo spoke in support of the zoning administrator, and considered the decision a victory for North Main. But as of February 10, the clutter remained, at least in the lot beside the building, so final victory is not yet at hand.
On January 27, the city presented the final Land Use Map that has been prepared as part of the process of updating the comprehensive plan. Through participation in numerous meetings, NMCA and CEEHDA (the Earle Street group), succeeding in getting all of Stone Avenue from Rutherford to Wade Hampton designated as Neighborhood Mixed Use, instead of Community Mixed Use, which suggests larger facilities such as large grocery stores and small big-box retail stores. The final document is a good one, though it is not perfect. Because there is no low-density or single-family land use designation, we will have to watch changes to the Zoning Ordinance carefully to make sure we don’t have higher density projects “creeping” into our residential neighborhoods. The map will be presented to the Planning Commission for approval on March 12 and to City Council on March 23.
New water pipes are going in on East Montclair, and residents there may finally get their street back after many months of disruption.
NMCA BOARD MEETINGS
The NMCA board meets every month on the second Wednesday at 6:30 PM at the Bobby Pearse Community Center on Townes St. Ext. These meetings are always open to the membership at large. Participation is limited to board members only but, if a member has a desire to address the board, it must be submitted in writing at least a week prior to the meeting.
Over the past few months, the NMCA has allied itself with our surrounding neighborhood associations in matters that may have a potential impact on all of us in the area at large. A recent proposed “senior” development on Brookside Circle, a street adjoining the Dellwood and Vista Hills neighborhoods, is being opposed by their Associations and we support their stance in the matter. More information was given to us by Donna Rhyne, the president of the Dellwood Association:
“Our District 1 City Council Representative, Amy Doyle, has notified the neighborhoods surrounding 31 Brookside Circle that the owner/developer is submitting plans to the S.C. Housing Authority to request Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding for the 2009 cycle. In 2007, David Douglas was denied funding for the 72-unit, 3-story, large family, low-income housing that was proposed, in part due to the overwhelming opposition of the neighborhoods surrounding the property. In 2008, he again submitted a proposal, but withdrew prior to the second round of evaluations, in part because of revised rules and the competition in his category.
This year, he has notified City employees that he will submit a proposal for a 48-unit, 2-bedroom/2-bathroom, low-income “senior” housing development. The definition of “low-income” is “at or below 60% of the area median income.” The definition for “senior” housing is very broad, and according to the Housing Authority, requires only one person of age 55+, in 80% of the units (39 of the 48 units). There would be no age restrictions required in the other 9 units, and no restrictions on the ages or the numbers of the other occupants in the 55+ units. It is our understanding that this could allow children, grandchildren, and long-term guests. The unit size of two-bed/two-bath (96 bedrooms) is suitable for families, and makes the term “senior housing” somewhat misleading. Although this density is allowed in the current zoning, the neighborhoods continue to maintain that it is inappropriate when surrounded by single-family detached housing.
Mr. Douglas will be sharing more details and drawings of his plans in private meetings with Amy Doyle and City employees on February 18. This information will then be shared with a few neighborhood representatives during the week of February 23. The deadline for the submission of the final proposal is February 27, which may not allow time for significant neighborhood input or plan modification.
The aging and fragile neighborhoods surrounding 31 Brookside Circle have suffered the negative consequences of excessive rental (rental motel rooms, rental apartments, and rental houses) for decades. We look to our City to assist in strengthening the area for the invested homeowners by supporting us in the request for owner-occupied housing, rather than a new version of high-density transient rental. “
President, Dellwood Neighborhood Association
HOSPICE OF THE UPSTATE
Did you know?
It’s hard to believe that spring is only a few weeks away. For many of us, the arrival of warmer weather coincides with the urge to start spring cleaning. This year, as you drag out those unneeded or unused household items, furniture, clothes, etc., consider donating them to one of the many worthwhile area charity organizations. One choice you may not be aware of is Hospice. Hospice of the Upstate runs a thrift store in Anderson with proceeds going toward Hospice programs. They will even pick up items in the Greenville area and they accept any donations except pianos. Many of us either have personal experience or know someone who has relied on Hospice to provide support, assistance and counseling during a serious illness. They provide a wonderful service. For information, call the Hospice Thrift Store Donation Line at 864-332-3358 x3102 or 800-261-3102 (toll free).