x-posted from Councilwoman Van Wirt’s Facebook page
Last night at Bethlehem City Council, we approved a $40k grant to study South Bethlehem, in terms of zoning, growth and housing. It is sorely needed, as South Bethlehem bathes in the light of sudden and strong developer interest, and at the same time struggles with escalating housing costs, loss of neighborhood character and out of scale buildings. In this article below, a vulnerable swath of NYC has been given new life with affordable housing, ample community benefits and preservation of neighborhood character. It wasn’t easy, but it can be done here, scaled to our amazing city. The requirement: involvement from the citizens who live there, from the ground up. “This project is a reminder that what can seem like kneejerk public resistance to new developments, even ones that promise affordable housing, can’t simply be chalked up to NIMBYism. If residents don’t know how, or whether, a project fits into some shared, participatory, longer-term vision for a neighborhood, then the most modest new condo tower can become a call to the barricades.” Let’s be inspired by successes in other cities- we CAN have a strong and clear vision for our city, and that means holding developers to that vision, and never losing sight.
Paige Van Wirt