COUNCIL VOTE: Eye Sore Re-Zoned

Ken Whitehead says he can see the eyesore from his front yard.

“I live really close to where this project’s going to be developed. And what we have there right now, nobody in the neighborhood really wants it, either.”

Whitehead and other neighbors don’t like what’s currently sitting on the north side of Forest Avenue, but they don’t like the ideas to change it, either.

“I think the something that they’re proposing would actually create a lot more problems—they’d be different problems,” says Bruce Wilson, another neighbor.

There is a plan to demolish the abandoned home and retail building between 32nd and 33rd Streets and build a 26 to 48-unit apartment complex with street-level retail. But the city says “hang on!”

“I heard the concerns about having 48 units there,” says councilman, Halley Griess,” about the three stories, about how the garbage is going to be picked up and so forth.  We hear those concerns, but we’re not to that point, yet.”

Tonight, the council only voted to rezone the four properties.  Any plan to actually build the new complex still has to be approved by the city.

“I trust the zoning restrictions,” says Drake Neighborhood president, Deric Gourd,” and they require a site plan review prior to construction.”

The Drake Area Neighborhood Association says that protects against a project they don’t like, but other neighbors say they doubt the developer has their interests in mind.

“They would really like to be able to come up with something,” Whitehead worries, “but I think that at the end of the day, what it really boils down to is money.”

What happens next isn’t clear—but here’s what is–there will be many eyes kept on the future of this eyesore. 

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