Remember this back in November:
“Syracuse lawmakers vote themselves the power to override the city planning commission” (Syracuse.com, 11/29/2011)
Lonnie posted about it here on November 22nd. Well, this may be late notice but TONIGHT all of us can do something about it!
Apparently, the Common Councilors who voted 6-3, with very little transparency or public input, to amend the City Charter to be able to inject legislative politics into unanimous City Planning Commission decisions, didn’t get the message from our letters.
Mayor Stephanie Miner is seeking public comment TONIGHT AT CITY HALL on the Common Council’s decision to amend the City Charter for more authority over Planning Commission decisions. The Mayor wants to hear from the public and listen directly to comments to assist in making a decision to act on the City Charter change. She has already come out against it but needs some support from the public for next steps. The vote on the Common Council was veto-proof, but maybe cooler heads will prevail…
The meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. in Council chambers on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 233 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, 13202.
Continue reading TONIGHT: Tell Mayor Miner to Stop this Power Grab
The “Family” Video store being proposed at tonight’s TNT meeting (Huntington Elementary School, Sunnycrest and Forest Hill, 7:00 pm) has been the topic of discussion in the Walkable Eastwood email group. The consensus: it’s a no-go on two fronts.
- All three proposed designs violate the James Street Overlay District Zoning Standards in many ways.
- Video stores are unsustainable businesses unless they are selling adult videos – which “Family” Video does.
Not one of over a dozen comments in the email group of over 100 members was in favor of having this business in Eastwood. This community has spent years fighting bad design – and winning – so we’re not about to turn back the clock and allow suburban-style development in our urban community. That would cause all our property values to drop and would be a slap in the face of the James Street business owners who develop, successfully, following the guidelines.
Continue reading “Family” Video: it’s just so wrong
“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
The city of Seattle has Transportation and Pedestrian Safety Committees and a Pedestrian Master Plan. “The plan (a summary you can find here) sets goals and performance measures for making Seattle a more walkable city and reducing the number of car-pedestrian accidents. The plan was developed with help from a citizens’ advisory group.” (see this blog . . . → Read More: Have you done your homework?
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
The following is an excerpt from a new Planners Press book by Philip L. Walker, AICP.
No time to read for about ten minutes? Then skip down to number 10 in the list below.
The 1970s were an innovative era in design for many facets of American life, including clothing, hairstyles, architecture, and, yes, urban planning. By the early 1970s, a number of forces were already in full play, resulting in unparalleled residential and commercial growth in the suburbs and a steady spiral downward for many downtowns.
Continue reading Top Ten Myths of Downtown Planning
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
One morning as I stepped up to the counter at Cafe Kubal, barista Ozula rapidly cleaned it off, saying something lovingly about “the messes of the pre-caffeinated.” I stared dumbly at the menu board, waiting for the fog to clear enough to be able to make an intelligent choice. She was patient, as always. I eventually got it together and, trusting my caffeine intake to a trained expert, placed my order.
This morning, at home and in an equally pre-caffeinated fog, I did this: Continue reading Oh! The messes of the pre-caffeinated!
Here in Walkable Eastwood, we’ve known for about 150 years that it’s easy and quick to get from here to just about any place in the Syracuse metropolitan area. We have the lush green of a suburban setting but the proximity to all the necessities and many of the joys of life. This “village within the city” was developed at a time when there was no gasoline and no cars. Just feet and public transportation, unless you happened to have a horse. This is old urbanism at its finest, residential and business development on a human scale. Continue reading “Save The Planet: Live In a City”
We’re avid readers of Anthony Bourdain’s books. Two of them have impacted our family somewhat dramatically. The first was Kitchen Confidential. Aside from being just a great read, it was also the third book our then-early-adolescent son read. He read it cover to cover, but it was at the third chapter that he came running to announce that he wanted to be a chef. Why? He pointed to the title of Chapter 3: “Food is Sex”. That did it. A couple culinary degrees under his belt, he’s now in charge of the mignardises in a restaurant in New York.
But the book that continues to inspire me is A Cook’s Tour, and specifically the chapter, “Where Food Comes From“. Read it, and you’ll understand why he says that where our food comes from is not always pretty. But it’s the larger concept behind that chapter that makes me think a lot and sometimes do strange things.
Strange thing #1: I make coffee in a 70-year-old vacuum coffee pot.
Continue reading Where food comes from
Dave Frishberg has written an awful lot of songs with lyrics that truly rival those of Cole Porter. He’s an incredible pianist, too, with a nasal voice that nevertheless manages to convey witty insights and complex emotions in a way we seldom hear any more. As I was listening to one of his songs on his . . . → Read More: Do you miss the city?
That decrepit building, known as the “Steak & Sundae building,” hugs the northeast corner of James and Midler. And we want to keep it because it follows the guidelines a lot better than an empty lot. In Eastwood you need a plan before you can just tear a building down.
Below you can see an aerial . . . → Read More: Why do we want to keep that decrepit building?
What yesterday may have been a harebrained scheme is increasingly understood as a huge money saver. Oh, and it also builds community and real estate value. At the Highways to Boulevards web page of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), you can see photos, read more about this option, and see what Buffalo . . . → Read More: It’s time to talk about Route 81 again