Reader criticizes historic district expansion
The story of the expansion-by-accident of the Mexican War Streets Historic District (April 2023) would be comical if it were not for the serious consequences that will likely follow.
Despite apparent opposition from the people affected and the unanimous vote of City Council to stop the expansion, Commonwealth Court ruled that the failure to hold a timely public hearing meant the expansion would go forward anyway.
Maybe this was the proper legal outcome, but if so, it just demonstrates that law is an ass, as the popular saying goes.
I hope the proponents of this expansion understand the likely result. Since the requirements of the Historic District are very expensive — as we who live in the original historic district know all too well — its expansion can have only one of two effects.
One possibility is that the requirements of historic zoning will not be watered down in the new area affected. That will mean the eventual expulsion of all renters and owners of modest means from the expanded historic district. They will not be able to comply with historic zoning requirements, so they will have to sell and leave. Gentrification on a massive scale.
Since that result would prove politically unpalatable, the more likely outcome is that the current historic zoning requirements will actually be relaxed into oblivion. But that will mean that people who want to cut corners in the original historic district will have precedents for the changes they want to make.
So, the likely result of this expansion is that historic zoning will become so softened as to be meaningless, removing from the Mexican War Streets their current unique charm.
As usual, be careful what you wish for.
— Bruce Ledewitz Mexican War Streets resident
Birds chirping outside my window pane
It’s in those rare moments when our minds are truly settled into a meditative state there is silence. Every morning upon awakening I hear those birds chirping.
It is calming and makes me feel at ease. This season take time to listen to the birds chirp and see the trees blooming and smell the fragrance of beautiful spring flowers.
Get outdoors and take a walk, meet your neighbors or make a few new friends.
Look around you and just see the beauty in all existence. If you see young people sitting outside, say hello, strike up a conversation with them before being suspicious and wondering do they belong here. Remember you were once young and needed a safe place to just hang out with your friends.
We all belong here. Let us enjoy the beauty together and look out for one another.
Be grateful for the birds, the sun, the rain, the flowers and our young people.
All of our kids are here for a purpose. It’s not for you to figure out their purpose. It will be revealed. Just slow down, look and listen.
Thank you. I am honored and grateful to be a servant leader and when I slow down I only then see all my gifts that have been bestowed upon me!
— Cecelia Ware President of Northside Public Safety Council