I mean, confidence, courage and creativity about Riverside — 11/26/06

  1. dear riverside info reader, this 11-26-2006 email went to one person at the time who replied to me 11-25 “c,c and c” email posted above. the recipient is not identified here. since i stand by all that i said, i am now putting it here on the forum. again, thanks for your time.

    best regards, chris robling
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    here are some quick points:

    1. i think that we have a variety of issues in riverside that have slowed redevelopment. some are in the government, so to speak, and some are in the dialogue between the people and their government. i can expand on this in person.

    2. i have considerably less faith in the mechanisms you mention to guide development than you do. for example, i think the village center was wrongly decided. it will be too big and not high quality enough. basically, i think the village caved in to the developers on that one and we will be saddled with their decision for another 50 to 75 years. it is a massive lost opportunity, and the way the village staged these things its increment is basically lost to the tif forever, which i think was a glaring failure regardless of how they decided to scale the building.

    (btw, one might reasonably say that if they weren’t going to allow its large size, then not having it in the tif wd have made more sense, because it will create less increment so the lost $$$ is smaller. on this basis, one might further say that their not tiffing in time, when they intended to allow a big village center, is all the more indicative of indeterminate leadership.)

    3. when you said in the fri, 11-24, 1:32 pm email that you think “the TIF is the best alternative tool the Village has to possibly avoid [the] dire scenario” of hiking taxes or cutting services, i want to point out that you are arriving at this judgment w/out the benefit of the planning and analysis that dan somers, dan zigiluch and i are talking about. i respectfully suggest your conclusion is premature. i think our single most important issue may be MAY BE, (i am not sure) that we are not a home-rule unit. but i might be wrong.

    what i know for sure is that we have not done the alternatives analysis that would solidly ground your opinion. i do not think any of us actually knows what’s right, that’s why we need to do the homework.

    and, as i sd, if the tif idea is really that good, then it will still be good in six months or however long it takes to do the vision and the plan.

    4. your willingness to allow a parking deck is similarly premature. an actual peak-period-parking capacity baseline study has NOT been performed by the village. in fact, notwithstanding the comments we hear about waiting lists for commuter parking, one of riverside’s most apparent assets (at its current development level) is plentiful parking. we may need more parking, we may not. i withhold comment until we do the analysis on a factual basis. but i admit that a parking deck is probably a limit on my support for new development here.

    5. in your 11-22-06, 10:29 reply to dan z, you express the same “ugly girl at the dance” philosophy which i believe propelled us into a bad decision at village center: “it is naive to think that things will unfold just as we planned them just because we laid it out on a piece of paper…”

    in fact, i believe, the opposite is truly the case. we are not an ugly duckling with no hope of survival. we are a global destination, a masterwork and an unrepeatable icon of design, development and suburban planning. we are 12 miles from the home of the chicago architecture foundation, which hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors to chicago annually who come here to see things architectural. AND WE HAVE NOT ONE BED AND BREAKFAST!!!!

    who does the village think it is kidding?

    we shd have architecture students living here for riverside fellowships, we shd have a branded design competition here every spring for college kids to master architects that is curated by distinguished professors, we shd regularly host both the trustees national assoc. for olmsted parks and the superintendents of any FLO work still extent… we shd align ourselves with the congress for new urbanism, the todsters, railvolution, etc…

    there is a revolution going on in design which cd make us a focal point for global attention, and we shd ride that. we are a “green” suburb long before anyone thought up LEED certification…

    we shd be marketing ourselves to the highest levels of management at mcneal, loyola, all of the manufacturing companies nearby, highly paid downtown employees…

    consolidating lots and making high-end developments at a human scale downtown for high-networth west suburban empty-nesters with kids and grandchildren here, or in oak park, or in la grange / hinsdale….

    and if we have that amount of net resident income, and the kind of astronomically high demographics one sees in archi-tourism, then our retail core will fill out nicely to meet those needs.

    we can do this if we will just get working on it…………

    to give you a concept, i — a loyal son of winnetka — believe that riverside can assume a position of far greater significance in the mental image of this region than that of my hometown. i think we can develop a “finer,” if you will pardon the use of this term in an egalitarian era, experience here than has ever been present where i grew up.

    and no one — my friend — can stop us, because in all of the world there is only one riverside. that is, if we don’t let the trustees go off half cocked on the tif before all of the elements are in place.

    (recipient), all we need is a little confidence, creativity and courage.

    best, chris

    POSTED THURSDAY DEC 28, 2006 10:52 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Politics, Riverside and Olmsted

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