Monday, April 28, 2008

Friends, Residents, Councilmen Lend Me Your Ears! (and hands!)

Based on the shrinking attendance at the last few DCDP meetings, it would appear that not a lot of residents are aware these meetings are even going on. The initial meeting held back in late January was standing room only - albeit a good majority was the Church of Christ congregation. But the size and the buzz of that first meeting was proof positive of how long overdue this process is.

It is safe to say that a good portion of those people have probably fallen off due to frustrations with the congregation and a number of property owners who wish to see no change take place along Charlotte Ave. Each meeting has had it's fair share of drama and has suffered from a negative energy that has recently dominated.

The draft Corridor Design plan for Charlotte Avenue is set to be released at the final meeting on Monday, May 12. It is imperative that a great number of residents attend this meeting to offer overwhelming support that is vital to the future of this plan.

But the word must get out.

This blog has been a bastion for the process thus far, but is not enough. Tell your neighbors to please attend this meeting on Monday, May 12th at 6:00 pm. It is located at St. Ann's Catholic Church in the Parish Hall at 51st. and Charlotte Avenues.

In addition, I hope to design a simple flyer to distribute to mailboxes this weekend alerting our neighborhood of this meeting - whether they support the plan or not. But Sylvan Park is a bit big for one guy to handle. IF anyone is available to help distribute flyers sometime this Saturday, please contact me ASAP.

Thanks! And remember May 12!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tennessee Attorney General Enters the Fray on Church Issue

The City Paper ran a story today that sheds a little light on the deed restrictions attached to the former Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ at the corner of 46th and Charlotte. In the original deed dated ca. 1921, the land was donated to the original congregation with the stipulation that the property would only be intended for 'church use or purpose'. The Tennessee Preservation Trust a non-profit group that advocates preservation issues throughout the state, received a letter from the Tennessee Attorney General stating that is aware of the deed restrictions on the property and plans to intercede if the property is sold for anything other than church use.

Excerpts from article:
...The Attorney General wrote a letter to the TPT stating that it would not intercede with with the potential demolition of the building, but would do so if the property was sold for a non-church use.

"...If there is such an offer to purchase or lease the property for a use that is inconsistent with a 'church use of purpose' and therefore, in violation of the deed restriction, our Office will take whatever action it believes necessary and appropriate to fulfill our statutory duties with respect to charitable gifts," the Attorney General letter from senior counsel Janet Kleinfelter states.

...Elders from the Charlotte Heights Church of Christ told the
City Paper there was no update on selling the property, adding that the church believes it can field offers to sell the land for commercial use.

Church elder Wendell Talley said there are no plans, yet, to tear down the building before the property is sold, but that could happen in the future.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here We Go Again

Last week's DCDP meeting was unfortunately a return to negative remarks, rude interruptions and accusations of bias mostly on the part of an angry congregation that has regrettably returned to the process. However, MPC staff members once again held their composure amid the rash of diatribes that polluted the meeting.

Some attendees went so far as to accuse the MPC of being biased and unfair in the process - by choosing to abandon written and oral feedback that was opposed to the draft plan. How someone can muster the nerve to say such a thing -- in light of the MPC's tedious documentation of the results of each meeting -- is nothing but divisive rhetoric. The congregation needs to be reminded that there is much more to this DCDP than just their property.

Not only is the congregation stirring up the pot, but a handful of property owners seem to be hellbent on shutting this entire operation down. I can understand a property owners concerns over their rights to a certain point (which I might add are not being infringed upon during this process). But is it really necessary to willfully attempt to sabotage a process who's main goal is to simply plan for the future?

One thing that everyone wanted to know was: "When does the public get a chance to air their concerns over the draft plan?" That date will be July 24 in front of the planning commission - and it was obvious that every person in there made a point to jot that date down on their mental calendar. Apparently those opposed to these guidelines for the future, plan to make a last stand at that meeting to try and thwart the "biased and senseless" DCDP for Charlotte Avenue. It is imperative that those who are in favor of this plan and a responsible and sustainable future for Charlotte Avenue, attend this hearing to let their voice be heard.

The Draft Plan will be presented on Monday, May 12th and will be the final meeting for the Charlotte DCDP. All are encouraged to attend to see the results of this process and provide constructive criticism.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Bistro Coming to Sylvan Park

In the midst of the planning that has been ongoing for the Charlotte Avenue Corridor, many residents have been lobbying for more restaurants within walking distance. Well this summer, those residents will get their wish.

"Miel" is scheduled to open sometime this summer, serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday and then offering brunch sometime in the fall. The restaurant is located in the building that once housed Johnson's Meat Market (behind Bobby's Dairy Dip). To read the story click here.

Fourth DCDP Meeting for Charlotte Ave. Tonight at 6pm

The MPC will hold its fourth meeting tonight for the Charlotte Avenue/Richland Park DCDP. Tonight's meeting will focus on "Building Regulation" which will open discussions on desired building types on a block by block basis.

The meeting begins at 6pm in the Parish Life Center at St. Ann's Catholic Church at 51st and Charlotte Avenues.