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
Sent in by Babette Baker regarding the development of the southwest corner of James and Midler (where the Sport Center once stood, where Fifi’s Ice Cream is now):
Information Meeting On the Proposed Kinney Drug Store Project
Monday, August 15th -7pm
James St Methodist Church
3027 James St.
Representatives from the Development and Design Team will be present to answer . . . → Read More: Meeting about design for James/Midler corner
Written by Maureen Harding, published with her permission:
There are several myths floating out there in Syracuse that somehow mistakenly are taken as “fact” concerning the Walkable Eastwood group of neighbors:
Myth: Redevelopment at the northeast corner of James and Midler (the former location of Steak & Sundae ) is being prevented by the Walkable Eastwood group.
Fact: The . . . → Read More: Urban myths about Walkable Eastwood
Do you know who in your neighborhood is running a business right here in Eastwood? Are they people who might also be hiring people who live in our neighborhood? Doesn’t it make sense to make our purchases from them instead of from an out-of-state chain?
I just culled this from the October newsletter sent out by Syracuse . . . → Read More: Eastwood – and Syracuse – first
“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
I am always amazed at the sheer courage it takes people using wheelchairs to navigate the streets of Eastwood. In the summer, they have to work their way up and over or around broken or heaved sidewalks, sidewalks made narrow by encroaching grass and dirt, and cars parked over the sidewalks. And in the winter, just one house on a block with its sidewalk made impassible by snow means anyone trying to get from point A to point B must then walk in the street. Continue reading Demand safer streets!
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?
This little slide show explains the whys and hows of “complete streets” – streets that are designed for all users, not just drivers. It’s best seen in full-screen mode. To get that, just click on the “full” icon in the taskbar at the bottom of this little screen. When you’re done watching it, hit the “Esc” . . . → Read More: Why complete streets?
Dave and I just got back from a visit to Buffalo, another much-maligned city in upstate New York that has, nevertheless, managed to move forward in its thinking about sustainable urban development. While the addition of one more national chain in Eastwood has caused much furor, Buffalo’s Elmwood Village is just a step or three ahead . . . → Read More: Other cities series: Buffalo’s Elmwood Village
When you stack Syracuse up against other cities, you actually end up with a lot of reasons to be cheerful about living here. Yeah, we get into our scraps about what’s the best way to improve it. But at least people really care! Listening to people who have lived elsewhere is often enlightening:
Continue reading Reasons to be cheerful
I’m not the only one who hopes they get this exit straightened out before we have to read in the paper that a tragic “accident” has taken place at the intersection of James St. and Grant Blvd. Call it an accident and it seems the hand of God is in play. But even mere mortals can tell this exit at Walgreens isn’t going to work. Fact is, we knew it back on December 14, 2005, when I first put this on the Walkable Eastwood website:
Continue reading Egregious egress = tragic accident
Here in Eastwood we like to walk… as if you couldn’t tell. Given that, and in order to more easily meet our neighbors, we’re proposing folks take a walk at a particular time each week: Sunday evenings between 6:30 and 7:30.
If you don’t want to walk, you can just sit out on your porch or front . . . → Read More: Sunday Evening Strolls
I’ll admit it. I’m a coffee nut. So I emailed my neighborhood coffee roaster to see what was going to be available this week. The answer: the usual great selection, plus a Kenya Chania Estate organic. This one is roasted to a full city roast, which works well in my antique vacuum pot. The label on the bag tells me what’s inside. The aroma: lemon, berry. Taste: papaya, spice. Body: medium. Aftertaste: milk chocolate.
Continue reading Let’s talk about coffee!
Joe Nastri is a long-time Eastwood businessman who was involved in the original Eastwood Review Board that was disbanded by the City.
I too hope that the city does the right thing and upholds the zoning Overlay standards. Assertions have been made time and again that Eastwood looks the way it does because of neighbors and or the Zoning Overlay Guidelines. This is false. The reason why Eastwood has some problems with appearance is firstly because property owners, such as the owner of the old Steak and Sundae building and Byrne Dairy properties have made a conscious decision to allow these properties to fall into disrepair. The plan is for neighbors to get so fed up that we will accept what ever they decide is appropriate.
Continue reading Letter from Joe Nastri
For many years, Kathleen Joy has supported smart, sustainable development in Eastwood. She has been a tireless researcher, an effective communicator, and a source of information that might otherwise have been difficult for the average resident. Some time ago, she started her own blog. As is her habit, when she has something of import to let . . . → Read More: Post by Councilor Kathleen Joy
What is a sign? What is an animated sign? What is an “indoors” sign? And what is an “outdoors” sign? When I look at the kinds of signs the planning commission will be deciding on this coming Monday, I have to wonder if they’re going to have to figure out what the meaning of “is” is.
Continue reading The meaning of “animated” is…
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
While looking around for examples that might instruct us on how development in Eastwood should be designed, I came across an excellent about.com article, Stop Sprawl: How to Design a Walkable Neighborhood. It’s a quick read but better than that, it has great photos illustrating the points made.
To better understand the options we have if the city’s comprehensive plan is taken into account when designing one of the corners of James and Midler, take a look at the following:
Continue reading How to design a walkable neighborhood
Wow! It’s been over a month since I last posted here. That’s because we were out of town – went to Philadelphia for the semester break at the insistance of former Eastwood resident Kate Clark. But during that time, a lovely email was sent to the Walkable Eastwood email group, and its author has given me permission to share it with you. So the rest of this post comes to you care of “Matthew” from Eastwood. Please feel free to answer his ending question in the comments section.
Here are Nine Wishes for Eastwood for 2009:
9. (Earnestly) pro-neighborhood mayoral candidate(s) Continue reading Nine wishes for 2009
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”