Please click on the picture or the link below to see the entire proposal (pdf file) created by Mike Stanton. It will definitely open your eyes to perfectly viable possibilities here in Eastwood.
Proposal for a Kinneys . . . → Read More: We could have this Kinneys
Rhinebeck, NY, is one of the Hudson Valley’s most charming villages. It has that very historic feel, including the country’s oldest B&B (George Washington actually did sleep there!) and a citizenry fiercely protective of the “look and feel” of the area. And the real estate values reflect that.
Continue reading Towns can have standards
“Family” Video gave a presentation at Monday night’s TNT meeting. In essence, despite their pronouncements of neighborliness, the real message was this:
- We will build what we want, where we want it, despite your overlay district guidelines.
- We will sell pornographic products within mere feet of a church, a school, and residences.
- We will take you (and your tax dollars) to court if you try to prevent us from violating your city codes.
- We will win in court.
- There is nothing you can do.
There was virtually no positive response to the presentation and many people were quite unhappy with what they saw. Their plan violates the overlay district zoning standards as well as city regulations that prevent the sale of adult materials within 1000 feet of a church, school, or residential area.
Continue reading “Family” Video to Eastwood: “We always win.”
This article was posted exactly one year ago. Do we understand any better now the monetary and quality-of-life impact that design and development, good or bad, have on our neighborhood? It’s time we got very clear about what we want and do not want in Eastwood.
Word on the street has it that in a meeting last night of the Common Council, the idea of demolishing the old Steak & Sundae building at the corner of James and Midler was brought up. Please correct me if I’m wrong (go ahead! down below, in the comments section), but I thought the owner of this property already asked for this and it was turned down because he had no plan for building something else there.
[Editor's note: corrections will be found in comment section.]
Why is this week any different from that week? And why would anyone want to reward this person with what he asked for back then? The owner of this property has allowed his building to blight our neighborhood and owes back taxes on it (what happens to you when you owe thousands in back taxes?). He’s been approached a number of times by Stephen Skinner, owner of the Eastwood Plaza, with offers to buy and fix up.
Continue reading Wittigs a.k.a. Steak & Sundae
“A gas station used to be there.” This is true of the corner of James and Midler. A gas station used to be on approximately every corner in Eastwood, based on some comments I heard at TNT Monday night. And that might have been true. But saying “a gas station used to be there” as justification for a new one being put in at the same location is like saying “An oil city used to be there” as justification for putting in even bigger, taller, brighter oil tanks at the northern entrance to Syracuse. Just because we used to do it doesn’t mean that it necessarily is or is not a good idea. Let’s debate this one on its own merits, not the merits of a period of cheap, plentiful oil, now fast waning. Continue reading A gas station used to be there
Sent to the Walkable Eastwood email group and reposted here with the permission of the author:
For the last few days I’ve been staring at this sign on the Steak and Sundae, trying to understand what’s really being said. Mr. Kimatian is a Republican and a former broadcast executive at Chanel 3 TV. At the primary mayoral debate, in part sponsored by Walkable Eastwood, Mr. Kimatian made it clear he would run the City as a business. I think that is an important point and I definitively agree. Over the 30 plus years I’ve called Syracuse my home the City of Syracuse has been operated as a disconnected series of fiefdoms with one part of the City not caring about the others. The political system has always promoted one part of the City at the expense of the others. Continue reading The city isn’t just a business
I posted the following over two years ago, but the ideas are good ones that the next mayor would do well to look at. They’re concerning how to deal with property owners who allow their business-district buildings to rot and bring down the values of all our properties.
James Street is our main business district. It has a number of really super businesses on it. What happens there affects all of us, as residents, as business owners, as property owners. Those who allow their vacant buildings or lots on James St. to remain in their present ugly condition are affecting your property values. It’s time the Common Council acted more decisively to get owners to fix up these properties or sell them to someone who will develop them within the James Street Overlay District Zoning Standards.
While searching the web for what other cities are doing about vacant buildings , I came across a website simply titled “AMCBO Member Call Summary.” (AMCBO is the Association of Major City/County Building Officials.) It appears to be a summary of a meeting that took place in 2005. It’s worth a thorough read. Below I’ve pasted the ideas I found most appealing: Continue reading Ideas from other cities for next mayor
Anyone crazy enough to read all these posts knows I grew up in Manlius, so walkability was normal for me. My dear ol’ dad was a member of the Village Board for quite some time and I recall fights back in the ’60′s when he and others were trying to prevent the village from tearing down its historic buildings. For the most part, they were successful. And if you walk around Manlius today, you’ll see that there’s still a “there” there. You’ll know, from the quaintly mid-century Sno-Top to the Swan Pond to the ancient Masonic Temple and the early 19th-century homes near the gazebo, that you are in no other place than Manlius, NY.
Continue reading They didn’t pave paradise
Sean Kirst recently wrote an article, The Dinosaur: More success by design, citing one of his previous articles, The Dinosaur, by design, that reinforces that idea that we have a prime example in our town of a business that works, despite all the ways people think it should not work. And that’s the Dinosaur, now the . . . → Read More: A last-century response to a current problem
MEET THE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR OF SYRACUSE
Join the discussion with mayoral candidates focusing on
“HOW DO WE BUILD A SUSTAINABLE, LIVABLE SYRACUSE THROUGH CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT AND PLANNING?”
Wednesday, June 17
6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: refreshments
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: program
SUNY Oswego Metro Center
Corner of N. Salina and W. Washington Streets MAP
EVERYONE IS WELCOME
CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR – all agreed . . . → Read More: W.E. Co-hosts mayoral candidate forum
Maybe it’s the developer who doesn’t want to work with the community. Look at these beautiful ways to have a Walgreens in your neighborhood! Don’t think for a minute that they did this because these neighborhoods are somehow more special than Eastwood. These neighborhoods are special only because they have design guidelines that prevent them from . . . → Read More: Walgreens will work with communities
At last night’s planning commission meeting, reference was made to the electronic billboard that sits in Dewitt but “graces” the eastern entrance to Eastwood. It was used in an argument as a precedent for allowing the LED sign at Walgreens. Oh boy. Got that slippery-slope slidey feeling?
Continue reading Common Council meeting re: billboards
Any of this sound familiar?
From debates heard in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons:
3 Feb 2009 : Column 194WH
…over Fowgay hall—admittedly, it was an unlovely property—on the site of which now stand 14 flats. It is a 0.17 acre plot, every inch of which has been built on, with the car park having to go underground. It is so out of kilter with the area that it beggars belief that it was approved on appeal. Builders wear down local communities by persistently reapplying. They make an application knowing that it will not be accepted. They then re-submit and re-submit, causing tremendous stress and worry in local communities, and in the end they slip in just under the bar. And that is the end of a happy residential area and, often, of its character.
We need properly planned communities. The Government should consider strengthening legislation to facilitate a much more holistic approach to our planning system. As my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives said, local communities need a much greater say in decisions affecting the character of their area.
I have three suggestions that I hope the Government will consider. On the ability of developers to continue re-submitting applications, should we not have a “three strikes and you’re out” system to prevent the constant worry?
Mr. Hoyle: Two!
Continue reading We’re supposed to knuckle under
This is what happened at the April 27, 2009 Planning Commission meeting:
1. The Planning Commission just barely had a quorum. However, they said that they would act on right then on the submission of the modified ground sign (even though they had not had sufficient time to review it since it was just handed in today) if the applicant wanted, (which they did). Then, however, the PC decided that because it had been just handed in, they had not had time to review it and suggested that they close the hearing on the “old” application and resubmit an amended application. As a result, another public hearing will be noticed to the public and held on May 18, 2009 at 6:00 PM.
Continue reading What happened at April 27 PC meeting
Since March 30, 2009, I have been running a survey to gather public opinion on the Walgreens sign. Granted, “the public” is whoever views this site. But given that this site been mentioned on page 2 of the Sunday Post-Standard twice (now three times – 04/26/09), I think the public has had a good chance to weigh in.
So here are the results at a glance. The bold font is created by the survey software to indicate the choice getting the greatest number of votes.
Continue reading Walgreens sign survey results
Last week I contacted every mayoral candidate via whatever means the public at large might do so: their published email addresses or, when that was not available, their contact forms in their mayoral candidate websites. I asked them to comment on any of the posts on this website and/or join the Walkable Eastwood email group to talk to Eastwood residents directly. Only Stephanie Miner responded, and she did so quickly, joining the group, introducing herself, and sending the following letter to the 100+ residents in that group. It is the letter she sent to members of the planning commission (bolding mine):
I am writing to respectfully request that the Planning Commission does not grant a waiver for the proposed Walgreens sign on James Street in Eastwood.
Continue reading Letter from Councilor Stephanie Miner
Syracuse, we are not alone in our fight to maintain a sense of place in our neighborhoods. While Eastwood compromised its unique neighborhood feel to end up with another national chain in its business district, it is still fighting to keep that store from overwhelming the gateway to our community.
We are not Walgreens. We are Eastwood. Our overlay district guidelines were put in place to protect the one thing we can sell to potential investors in our neighborhood: a unique place called Eastwood. The look and feel of our neighborhood is our identity, it’s our “brand.” Fill James Street with national chains and we lose that identity.
Continue reading Just say no to Walgreens
When people drive into Eastwood from downtown Syracuse, the first thing to greet them at the gateway to our “village” has been this, the Veterans’ Monument. It is in an area that is 50% residential. We finish our Memorial Day parade there, where we gather for speeches and silent contemplation.
The proposed “monument sign” makes our gateway all about Walgreens instead:
Continue reading Who wins monumental competition?
If 100 people in Eastwood were to read this through – it takes less time than watching just the ads in “Dancing With the Stars” – and if each were to educate just one other person about the effect on Eastwood of the proposed Walgreens sign, then we’d have a great turn-out at the April 6 Planning Commission meeting. That’s when a decision will be made about what they want: a 10-foot LED stand-alone ground sign. It violates the overlay district guidelines in four ways: sign square footage, total number of signs, prohibition against ground signs, and prohibition against animated signs.
But here’s what you want to read first, an email reprinted here with permission from our neighbor and retired professor of architecture, Sig Snyder:
Continue reading A 10-minute primer
There’s some confusion about the sign that the Planning Commission will be voting on come April 6. Here is my understanding of it (corrections, as always, are welcome in the comment section), as reported by a concerned citizen who visited the zoning office:
The overall dimensions of the proposed ground sign, including the two piers, is about 10 ft. high, by about 13 ft. wide, by 2.5 ft. deep. The piers are 2.5 ft. square, and 10 ft. high. The space between the piers is about 9 ft. wide, where there will be, I believe, a “Walgreens” sign, and the changeable electronic sign of about 8 ft. width.
Just how big is this, really? According to Common Councilor Kathleen Joy, “The entire sign would be about 100 sq ft. …The architect told me that it needs to be big enough to be seen over cars and the Veterans monument. ”
Continue reading The sign they’ll be voting on April 6