Wednesday, August 30, 2006

just a Wednesday

No rushing, no deadlines. The cats are out, the dogs are in. Summer is slowing down to turn the corner into fall. School is open, the pool is closed. My neighborhood is far from peaceful.

Mentor's school district is in financial crisis and decided to sell our neighborhood school at the firesale price of 700,000. Last week the backstops for the ball park came down, so sad. A developer has purchased it and wants to put an unbelievable 127 units on the property. This is a very old neighborhood, doesn't even have storm sewers. In order to have storm sewers, all of our ancient trees lining the streets would have to go. 127 cars added to the busiest intersection in town during rush hours. Quiet streets disrupted.

While others turn to lawyers and engineers, I turned to Wendell Berry who asks, "where's the benefit to the community?" Indeed. There will be a benefit to the developer, to the people who own the adjacent property who are selling their land to him, but to the rest of our community and to Mentor as a whole? Where's the benefit?

The odd thing is, the only thing council seems concerned about is Rick Osborne's right to make a profit. The entire discussion revolves around, how can we enable him to make a profit with fewer units. Naturally, the council people take plenty of money for their campaigns from this developer and his wealthy family. It is a microcosm of American politics.

With a 7.5 month housing sales lag in the Cleveland area, we hardly need new condos. Want and need. Who benefits? Global questions on a local scale.

It is important to fight on a local level -- maybe there will be trickle up benefits if we win in our resistance move. Hope springs eternal.


Anonymous said...

Councils are just as useless in the UK, We have lost thousands of school playing fields over the years for retail or Residential developement. The fitness of our children doesn't matter anymore just money. andy - uk

sara holbrook said...

It's criminal -- I don't know if I feel comforted that it is like this in the UK also, or just more discouraged. Maybe we need a new children's book, Somebody Stole My Playground, in order to raise a new army of revolutionaries.