|Nutshell, with Nut Still in Shell, Prior to Shelling|
Then it was off (on bike, after a near collision at, you guessed it, Washington/Empire, fuck 'em, y'all, someone's gonna get killed real soon.) to the CB9 ULURP meeting, for a terrific presentation by landuse consultant Paul Graziano. The southside of Fenimore has logged its hours researching its houses, and found that they all have deed restrictions limiting to one-family homes. And while a lawsuit could probably prevent a developer tear-down, you have to pay for it, so the good folks of Fenimore want the extra protection the City zoning can provide. The Block Association wants to downzone the south side, Bed to Rog, and while some on the committee felt it was unfair and unwise to open up zoning conversation with the City, even if it's a private application, good-neighborliness prevailed. Three voted against co-applying with Fenimore. But the majority, Q included, sided with the Fen Block Association, many of whom attended and pleaded their case. They have the goods, and have paid the consultant, and should be allowed to get their downzoning, though the Q and others were understandably envious. The Q was additionally saddened to realize that MTOPP has so thoroughly convinced many of your neighbors that ANY collaboration with the City is not in our interest. It's pure bologna, but hey, some people really, really, really like their Sonic burgers and dilapidated warehouse buildings and storage facilities.
Ben Edwards led a discussion of Parkside Ave, Flat to Bed, and their application to Landmark the houses there. Richard Walkes, who wants to landmark a whole swath of the nabe that's NOT currently included in the Historic District (South PLG if you will), felt that it was more practical for the neighborhood to go in together, and he's even created a non-profit to do just that. The CB tabled the vote on whether to support the Parkside application, citing, among other things, the need to hear from the residents themselves, none of whom showed for the meeting.
Two things you may or may not know. Landmarking does not apply to houses only; rent stabilized big apartment buildings can be just as historically significant, often built by noted architects. And it needn't be contiguous old-time buildings - a single modern building does not a landmark neighborhood negate. so if you think you're unworthy of landmarking, take heart. It's not just about how purdy a building is; it's about history and the worthiness of protecting that history going forward. Paul nailed it though - Landmarking and the agency itself, are notoriously capricious. Who knows who will succeed and who will fail? Only time, and a lot of tears, will tell.