December 6, 2017

We are going into the midst of a cold front and I’m thinking we are all welcoming it very nicely. Break out the boots ladies- it’s time;)! I do love when we get this cold weather especially when we are in full holiday swing it just makes it all seem so festive. Cold weather and holidays just go together like hearts and Valentine’s Day.

There has been a lot of talk and meetings and social media posts about the development of apartments next to the Hay’s Street Bridge. I’m a layman's terms kind of person- break it down to me so I can simplify what is really going on. So as I have been following this story as it develops it’s so sad as this is what gentrification is at its finest.  

All developers want to have secret meetings to where so much is done that cannot be UNDONE once the community gets a whiff of the undercover deals happening. Integrity- means doing the right thing even when nobody's watching. Well, the developers and middle men have zilch of that characteristic and the same goes for developers all over the nation trying to flip all the underserved communities into bustling millennial hotspots and apartments on their own set of morals. Community? They don’t know that word they understand the words LAND and MONEY and that’s what they come and get and when finished they leave back to wherever they are from.


Now is the time for our community, District 2, to know exactly where we stand with this development and what if anything we can do at this point.  So I reached out to our District 2 Councilman Shaw to clarify and really let the community know their options, if any, to continue fighting for the history and views of our Hays Street Bridge.


Many are saying that the Council's hands are tied due to legal proceedings going through the court system which is not true.  Councilman Shaw stated "Our hands are tied because Council has no direct vote on this project as there is no zoning case currently tied to it that could have given myself or any of my colleagues authority to modify or deny."  Basically everyone- the deal was considered done a few years back and we are just now seeing it all in front of us, it's an inherited deal to Councilman Shaw, not one he was any part of.


I asked the Councilman well, what happens now? Councilman Shaw explained, "The review before us now is at the HDRC (Historic Design Review Commission) and is a review for final design, not project passage or failure of passage.  Once the property owner satisfies the HDRC expectations, it progresses on as that commission proscribes.  HDRC has the authority here."


Many community residents know this is happening so they've expressed the desire to at the least fight for height restrictions of this structure.  So I asked our Councilman if he supported this notion of the community, he responded by saying, "I'm absolutely agreeable to height preferences of the community however only the HDRC can approve that at this point, not myself."


Currently, Councilman Shaw is following up on environmental concerns on site mentioned last Wednesday, the District 2 Office will provide updates as they get them.


More to come on the Hays Street Bridge as the story develops.  



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