Opposition to Buchanan plan is not new
Greg Romberg, you are correct in one respect — the EPRD board did reach out in several ways to get community suggestions about Buchanan Park. For all I know, the plan as approved by the board does represent the view of a lot of the people who responded. But you are missing something when you say that opposition to the plan is just now emerging. The opposition has been present all along. You say that “the work that has been done … must be acknowledged and presumed to be correct.” I can acknowledge the work done without presuming that it is correct.
Some time ago, the Stagecoach Park piece was purchased and a plan presented for that area. The actual development did not adhere to the plan promised. That progression gives some of us pause as to the board’s devotion to community input over the board’s wishes.
Albertson’s building is answer to brouhaha
The ongoing Buchanan disagreement, sometimes approaching a brouhaha, seems to be more about exchange of the park’s still-natural land for more buildings and parking lots and creating increased traffic on Bergen Parkway. The driving force for development appears to be the “the arts community” in arm with the rec board; public, taxpayer support appears dim.
OK, let’s move the development plan out of the park. Immediately we have eliminated all problems related to despoiling the park. Plop it down on the site of the former Albertson’s store and see how that fits. Wow! Plenty of space already built for all the perceived community needs and 250 parking spaces to be managed for merchants eternally plagued by “ no parking space.”
William Bird Mounsey
Questions should be asked about Buchanan plan
My letter is in response to many letters in the Wednesday, March 11, Our Readers Write.
The homeowner survey was done by The Trails at Hiwan not The Ridge.
Cindy Brown was presenting information from 65 percent of the homeowners of The Trails at Hiwan. All agree that more input is needed from other members and areas of the community.
No one is suggesting that the park be left as open space. What is being questioned is the amount of development planned. A picnic pavilion is one thing, but do we really need a building for receptions and meetings for 300 to 500 people? What is the desired outcome — to have a place that Evergreen residents would appreciate and enjoy, or to satisfy many masters?
There seems to be a real backlash against anyone speaking about the Buchanan Park master plan — i.e., being concerned, wanting to get more information, asking questions or expressing an opinion. What is the problem with discussion and input? It shouldn’t be about them versus us. We should come together as a community to do what is best for the community.
Some seem to think that newcomers have no place at the table. I believe we all pay the same taxes no matter how long or short we have been here. Perhaps we should have a sliding tax scale with newcomers paying less, since we are deemed to have less say.
I haven’t heard anything about a recall of Peter Eggers. The concern is about the relationship between Parks and Rec and Center for the Arts. Who is representing who and what relationships shape decisions. Yes, we appreciate those who have the time and ability to give to various boards. That doesn’t mean we should never question their judgment. I find it hard to believe that physical threats would be made over such issues, but there are a lot of foolish people in this world.
Stagecoach Park’s plan had a similar creeping expansiveness. Where they were dealing with a playground, fields and parking issues, Buchanan “Park” would be a large development of buildings and parking lots, attracting many more people and traffic.
I was one of the participants in the potential user group info. At that time I expressed concern about traffic, noise and parking. I was concerned about having the NEAT trail, with crossings on Bergen Parkway, and inviting more traffic into the same area.
Ah, the stigma of NIMBY. It makes me want to just sit down and shut up.
Not in my backyard. Not in your backyard. Do we need it? Do we want it? Will we utilize it? Can we afford it? What should an Evergreen “park” consist of? These are all questions worth asking.
Monitor your HOA
After the federal pre-emption to allow a TV supertower on Lookout Mountain in December 2006, the residents of Mount Vernon Canyon ignored CARE, the umbrella organization for 28 homeowner associations (population 9,000) in the Genesee, Lookout and Mount Vernon area. Three individuals served as the board of directors without being elected by the required “quorum.” A few people attended meetings once or twice a year.
The CARE board did not honor the objectives and purposes of Canyon Area Residents for the Environment: 1) preserve and enhance the community; 2) provide a forum for community deliberation and action; 3) analyze problems confronting the community and identify possible solutions; 4) develop broad public support and direction for resolving problems and a process for implementation of solutions; 5) propose unified affirmative acts to promote positive governmental business action consistent with the needs of the area.
The primary community service of the three board members (Wayne Matthai of Genesee, Dick Bartlett of Genesee Crossing, and Ricki Hoekstra of Mount Vernon Country Club) from 2007 to March, 2009, was a second appeal of Jefferson County approval of a tower replacement for PBS-TV Channel 6 and two Public Radio stations on Mount Morrison. The legal brief by attorney Richard Westfall (hired by the not-elected CARE board) included “existing facilities on Lookout Mountain …” as an ideal “alternative” to Mount Morrison. Lookout Mountain is heavily populated with people and antennas. Mount Morrison is not.
Some concerned citizens rallied 82 residents (including a quorum of 18 delegates) to a CARE meeting on March 12 and demanded to have “Lookout Mountain” deleted from the second legal brief due on March 17. Unofficial (not-elected) board president Wayne Matthai refused to allow the delegates to elect a board and did not announce any future meeting.
Without the due diligence of elected city officials, foothills neighbors must pay attention to special district governments and homeowner associations. Citizen apathy is an invitation for special interests to take control.
Mount Vernon Canyon