Demolish, build in a sea of asphalt. Again.

A neighbor who attended the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, March 12 sent me the following:

A new proposal at the former funeral home (aprox. across from Books & Memories).  The same developer (from Cortland) who’s done some “Five Guys burgers & fries” proposes a “Carroza’s pizza & wings.”  They would demolish and rebuild.   They “require” a drive-thru, with in and out driveways. (They like to emphasize that they’d be reducing curb cuts from the existing 3 to only 2.)

They’re requesting a number of exceptions, including: building setbacks (front and sides), building coverage (12% of lot, versus 50% minimum), windows (22% of facade, versus 50-75%).  In front of building, between driveways, they have some kind of sitting space they like to call a “vest pocket park(-like).”  [The (mis-) use of buzz words is annoying.]  This may or may not be an “amenity,” as it was described.  Surely, it’s unusable space turned into an attempted selling point, in lieu of building closer to the sidewalk.

The hearing was left open to be continued on April 2nd.

Folks, if you don’t get to planning commission meetings in support of adherence to the overlay district guidelines, you’re going to get a James Street full of seas of asphalt, auto-centric design, a loss of walkability, a loss of what character remains on James. Building MUST take place up to the sidewalk. Period. The guidelines must be followed or you will end up with the waste land and its accompanying crime that took over South Salina at Ballantyne. Parking lots and drive-thrus are antithetical to the kind of human activity that keeps crime down. Drive through there sometime if you care at all about Eastwood. This is where it’s headed.

And do we really need yet more pizza and wings? It’s getting boring!

4 thoughts on “Demolish, build in a sea of asphalt. Again.”

  1. I would personally like to see Cafe Kubal or a bakery/coffee place go in that funeral home building. It could be refinished as a big open space with wood floors, comfy couches, wifi and open mic nights. Any basement type rooms could be used for community meetings/events too. POMCO and all the other businesses would really benefit from having a good sized coffee/performance/relaxation space to read some books you purchased at the neighboring stores or have a cup of joe before a haircut. Or really just get our community together, more often, in a nice sized space. Nothing against cafe kubal, I love them and their coffee, we just need a place a little more central on James with a bigger floor plan, comfortable places to hang out and enough space for community happenings. I wish I had the money to do this myself. That building has parking AND the drive on the other side that could be used as a drive through for drinks/fresh food if need be but we really don’t need another pizza/wing place that encourages obesity and the in and out type of feel around here. We need a place with a home feel to get together and visit with our neighbors while getting in a little caffeine fix at the same time.

  2. Every since Friends Diner went out of business, I’ve heard Eastwood folks begging for this type of business right on James. So you are absolutely on the right track.

  3. Appears the planning commission is on the path of what’s BAD for Eastwood. The pizza & wing mentality will not give Eastwood the boost it needs to regain a positive influence for the community. The idea of a cafe where adults can enjoy a short sit down with friends is appealing. Add an organic deli into the mix and now you have something Eastwood can be proud of!

  4. We definitely need a place like what was said above or a diner. A little restaurant would be great where we could all get together.

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