89th in a series of posts on 2 W. Market St
Fighting for one’s neighborhood. Always a good thing in Gadfly’s book.
Yesterday Gadfly focused on the forceful testimony of Paige Van Wirt before the Zoning Hearing Board on November 12 as a model of good citizenship.
Gadfly does the same today with the example of Martin Romeril.
The issue in the 2 W. Market case is the insertion of a business in a residential neighborhood.
Unbelievably, from the beginning of the recent chapter of this case, the nature of the neighborhood as “residential” has been questioned, despite what the zoning map says.
Go back to post 49 in this (so-far) journey of 89 posts with Gadfly, the post “CM Callahan on ‘the 2’.”
Here’s what Councilman Callahan had to say about a year ago: “I think what it comes down to is, the main question is this, where does the residential neighborhood begin and where does it end? And the bottom line is it doesn’t. It doesn’t. There’s nobody that can tell me where the residential community in that neighborhood on that block begins and ends.”
As Gadfly said back in December, “The zoning code says 2 W. Market is in an area zoned residential. [Callahan] says, in effect, there is no residential area there.”
That subjective suspension of the zoning code by a Councilman bowled the then innocent Gadfly over.
Now around the same time the City — which supported the owner of 2 W. Market and is now vigorously opposing the validity challenge — produced a map that also seemed to have the same effect, the downplaying of the residential nature of the West Market neighborhood and thus minimizing the impact of the inserted business.
And his production of a color-coded map that shows the neighborhood 87.3% residential!
Here is Romeril testifying about his work at the November 12 Zoning Hearing Board meeting:
But Romeril’s investigative work didn’t end there.
When the City attorney posed this question — “Mr. Romeril, you expressed some concern about the impact of 1304.4b throughout the City, have you been able to identify other parcels where 1304.4b might apply?” — he seemed surprised that Romeril’s “Yes” answer was embodied in a 3-page chart, done with the help of a friend, based on evidence offered by the 2 W. Market attorney:Gadfly invites you to note the long silence at the end of the following clip with which the City attorney responded to Romeril’s work:
Romeril didn’t just accept the study done by the City.
Romeril didn’t just accept the research done by the 2 W. Marketers.
He challenged both and provided data that supported the neighbors’ position.
It is, of course, by no means clear that the neighbors will win this latest round before the Zoning Hearing Board in this marathon controversy (everyone seems to feel resolution in the courts will be necessary), but Gadfly is pleased to help disseminate these examples of active citizen involvement as models for us all when we need to struggle for the quality of our neighborhood life.
The Hearing Board meets again on this case December 11.