Widening the circle of commentary on Garrison St.

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October 4-13

(5th in a series of posts about 11 and 15 W. Garrison St.)

After the Garrison St. neighbors spoke, two champions emerged for their cause.

Bruce Haines

Haines is a litigant in the latest chapter of the highly divisive 2 W. Market St. issues that Gadfly has covered extensively (see the link to 2 W. Market on the sidebar) and sees this issue through that lens as another example of “true commercial intrusion” into neighborhoods tacitly then visibly supported by the City. The developer has a “great project,” but it’s in the wrong location. Striking to Gadfly is the practical point that a vote yes is a vote for an open door. Since the rendering of the project shown at the meeting is only tentative, the final project could be “anything,” a fate Haines underlines with some nasty examples. “This is about integrity,” Haines says, and repeats it so often that Gadfly looked up the definition to make sure he knew what Haines saw as the transcending issue: “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.”

  • This is a deja vu all over again.
  • Remember 2 W. Market St.? This is commercial intrusion into residential neighborhoods. It’s plain and simple.
  • Except instead of being in the historical district, it’s a wonderful community on Garrison St.
  • It’s a community. It’s a neighborhood.
  • Certainly that’s a great project [the developer’s], as they even acknowledged, on New St. and around to the commercial business district as it exists today.
  • There’s not a house on that street that fits the variances and the codes, but at the end of the day, they are all residences.
  • So, how familiar is this? Here we have an individual coming to redo a zoning change again. We don’t have the City endorsing it. They’re sitting neutral. They’ll wait till the 11th hour like they did for 2 W. Market St., and then they’ll weigh in to make sure you understand how you’re supposed to vote.
  • And are we then pretty soon going to have Sand Island named after Mr. Connell or his business?
  • What we’ve got here is true commercial intrusion.
  • I really feel for these neighbors, and I’m going to stand up for them.
  • Because if you go ahead with this, you are marching down the the exact same path you marched with 2 W. Market St.
  • Now we are hearing the CB [Central Business district] . . . doesn’t apply on a local street so on Garrison she [City Planning administrator Darlene Heller] didn’t tell us what could go there . . . the largest bar and restaurant in the city . . . the biggest Hookah lounge, the biggest tattoo parlor . . . who the heck knows.
  • I think this is a great project. I’m not here not supporting a great project for the City.
  • Just put the project in the district where the project belongs which is the Commercial Business district, and leave these neighbors alone, and leave their businesses alone.
  • So what this is about is the same as 2 W. Market St., and if you keep going down this path, it’s about integrity.
  • This is about integrity. The whole thing is about integrity. It’s the integrity of our zoning code, which [the City administrator] won’t stand up to defend . . . It’s the integrity of our neighborhoods, and it’s about integrity of government.
  • You’re marching down the same path that will have you in court for 5, 7 years, the same as you’re going to be for 2 W. Market St.
  • This is a travesty, and you guys should need to squelch this from the beginning.
  • Not only that, you’re buying a pig in a poke. You’re going to change the zoning  . . . and you don’t even know that you’re going to get this project.
  • Once it’s CB, it can be anything.
  • We know that the majority of Council believes that economic development outweighs neighborhoods.
  • If you were to approve this CB without it being attached to this project or conditional . . . you’re really done a disservice to this community.
  • [applause]


Stephen Antalics

Looking and sounding much like an Old Testament Jeremiah, Gadfly #1 speaks, as he always does, with rhetorical and moral brevity and clarity: whose will should Council serve, the public or the private? There’s the question that applies to not only this case but to a span of cases this Gadfly #00 has covered over the past year. To Antalics, the answer is self-evident.

  • There’s an old adage that says government of, for, and by the people, and it seems that’s been lost.
  • It’s almost like governance in spite of the people.
  • Bruce [Haines] is exactly right. The key word is integrity.
  • Integrity is expressed when the will is recognized and supported.
  • It then becomes whose will.
  • We have on many occasions intelligent concerned people who love the City come here and testify after intensive research why something shouldn’t happen.
  • But the people come forth who have private interests, which is fine . . . as long as private interests do not impinge upon the will of the people, the people who chose you to represent their interests.
  • So the question is, whose will are you going to serve?
  • And this question has come up much too often.
  • The will of the people or a private individual.
  • My sympathy for these people who spoke, because they represent the core of the City, decent people who love the City, and enjoy living in the City.
  • And what you can be doing here is depriving them of their way of life, uprooting them, forcing maybe some to move out of the City because they came here for that simple reason.
  • So, I think it’s very clear what has to happen here.

So, “where’s your head at” on the rezoning of the houses on Garrison St.?

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One thought on “Widening the circle of commentary on Garrison St.

  1. Just for background. Dennis Connell is an architect whose offices were for decades on the empty lot in that block.

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