Confidence, courage and creativity — 11/25/06

dear riverside info reader: below please find an 11/25/2006 email that i sent after a weekend of exchanges which have been grouped together in a pdf and called ‘the thanksgiving email.” you will see them referred to below as totalling 30 pages. if you would like a copy please let me know and i will send you the file. in any case, i believe the following makes additional points that are important to bear in mind as we confront the issue of fostering appropriate and scaled development in riverside. thank you for your time, chris robling
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dear all,

i have re-read my wed. (11/22) email and to the extent that i failed to say the tif cabins the increment on the designated pins, or that — with possible exceptions — the other taxing bodies do not receive their assessment on the incremental eav, i thank charlie for pointing out that failing of mine. my apologies to any readers who were confused by my imprecision. such is the result of dashing something off as i did. i will be more attentive next time.

there’s a lot to be said based on the exchanges of the last four days, which filled close to 30 pages when strung together one on top of the last.

rather than get into the very specifics right now, let me propose the following:

1. new development downtown wd be advantageous

2. a tif may be the right way to go

3. tif’s require planning elements we do not have

4. no matter what, an above-grade parking ramp in downtown riverside is anathema to our community and all that it represents

5. the village should abjure takings of single-family homes for redevelopment purposes

6. the village has not created a consensus vision for riverside in the 21st century

7. the village has not produced a comprehensive plan for riverside

8. the village has not communicated what this tif would actually be, what it wd do, how it would accomplish those things, etc (i refer here to dan sommers’ email observation of no metrics established)

9. some people who support the tif, such as charlie, think that planning could be done concurrent with tif establishment

10. other people who support the tif think 99 percent of this planning talk is a waste of time that’s diverting us from our pressing fiscal issues which a tif — say what you will — is intended to help alleviate

11. some people who support a referendum on the tif do so in the hope that it will be defeated and thus go away forever

12. some of us in riverside see olmsted’s central park, with its museum, zoo, restaurants, refreshment stands, tee-shirt salespeople, and more, and yet think it is fundamentally wrong to imagine a riverwalk in swan pond.

13. harlem avenue is the rodney dangerfield of riverside redevelopment. it gets no respect. yet, like dangerfield, it has a lot to offer, especially in re a tif.

with people riled up as we are now, why not harness the interest and commitment to do the visioning and planning that is necessary?

and in so doing, let’s find within us the creativity to fashion solutions that befit this masterwork; and the confidence that we — riverside — can seek the appropriate established experienced and proven inner-ring suburban infill developers who understand what this place is and how best to accentuate its unique strengths; and the courage to say no to developers who would blight the face of our town, or landlords who would allow their property to sit unused, or to deteriorate before our eyes.

frankly i am troubled by some of the points that my friend charlie made. i think dale expressed many assessments with which i agree. i am more convinced than ever that we must do what we can do encourage the trustees to stop this tif now and do the planning homework we have skipped on an accelerated basis. if the downtown tif is a good idea, it will still be a good idea. if it does not fit we will all be relieved we did not pursue it.

can we do that? dan z. says he is concerned that the trustees may already have decided this issue. i hope he is wrong, but he may be right. i think that increases the burden those of us urging better planning must meet. where our advocacy goes from there, i do not know.



POSTED THURSDAY DEC 28, 2006 10:41 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside and Olmsted

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