Last week Mayor Stack and Board of Commissioners met to hear a study recommending that a stretch of blocks on Mountain Road be designated a Redevelopment Zone. More than 50 residents showed up and a majority spoke either for or against this, most were from that neighborhood.
I agree with the majority view that Mountain Road must not become a magnet for high rises and the height of any new building must not block views to the river or “blot out the sunshine” as one speaker phrased it, or obstruct the views from other present home owners. I agree with Peggy Wong that the natural integrity of the Palisades must be respected, protected, and preserved. Larry Price raised the point that the surrounding properties must be considered in describing or characterizing an area as blighted and noted that a number of surrounding properties show improvement rather than deterioration.
Many of those gathered were outraged that houses bought by the developer were not kept up and over a period of up to 8 years were allowed to deteriorate or attract arson or vagrants. The character of Mountain Avenue must be respected. It must not become a gated community or an enclave unto itself and any developer must respect the wishes of existing property owners. Warehousing vacant houses is intolerable.