Making Jefferson more like Elmwood and Hertel
What do Elmwood and Hertel avenues have that Jefferson Avenue doesn't? One answer might be available parking spots, but that's not the answer we're looking for here. It's a bit more bureacuratic than that. A Special Zoning District.
These special districts create another layer of bureaucracy and also another layer of protection, depending on one's vantage point, with the Common Council taking a larger role in what gets developed on these commercial strips.
Council President Darius Pridgen, who represents the Ellicott District, is proposing a Jefferson Avenue Special Zoning District from Clinton to Genesee streets.
He says that strip is getting threatened by over development and expansion of bars, taverns and the like.
Additional regulation is needed, he said in a resolution.
Drilling deeper into Issues Poll
As we said yesterday, the top three city issues among nine in the City Hallways issues poll were schools, then jobs, then guns/violence .
Schools was cited by almost 40 percent of the 94 voters as the most important issue facing the city. Not only did schools get the most No. 1 mentions, the 37 No. 1 votes was more than three times the next most cited No. 1 issue, racism/racial inequalities, mentioned by 11 people at their top concern. What's more, some who didn't mention schools first helped vote it the second biggest concern of the nine issues listed. Unemployment got the most votes as both the third and fourth most important issues.
At the other end, taxes/city spending got the most mentions as the least most important concern of the nine issues mentioned.
Some demographic info on the poll: About 62 percent of poll participants provided demographic information. That data showed about 43 percent over 50 years old, 43 percent 31 through 50, and 14 percent 30 or under.
Seventy-nine percent identified themselves as white, 19 percent as African-American, and 2 percent as other. The votes cast for racism/racial inequities as the first or second most important issue appear roughly equal to the non-white vote.
Sixty percent identified as male; 40 percent female.
The agenda for the March zoning board meeting was released yesterday. It'll be 2 p.m. March 23.
Here's a few agenda items:
- Watt's Architecture wants to convert a church building at 467 Richmond Ave. to a live performing arts theater.
- Westmont on North wants to build an assisted living senior complex at 279-291 North St.
- Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development wants to convert a building at 66 Best. St., into a medical office.
- Habitat for Humanity wants to build two one-family homes with front porches at 61-67 Wende St.
- Dixon Enterprises wants to build a three-story mixed use building with two loft apartments on 474 Seneca St.
Council committee meetings today, starting with Civil Service and Finance in morning, and Community Development and Legislation in afternoon.
Deep South Taco public hearing 2 p.m., during Legislation Committee meeting. The restaurant got Planning Board approval yesterday.
Also at 2 p.m., Mayor Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins to announce $1 million donation to help build new Seneca Babcock Community Center.
Mayor Brown holding Community Roundtable Discussion: Where should the city spend it federal dollars. Meeting 6 p..m. at Hutch-Tech High School on South Elmwood.