Monday, February 20, 2017
To the Editor:
In response to Ronald Commons article.
Let me preface that I strongly believe it’s every person's duty to help others in need, especially children. Truth be told, there are major issues regarding this project and I only hope we can learn from this and be rational moving forward.
Three main objections are location, price and community effect
Before the project, there were 23 evergreen trees on the last green space in this area. Walking the Aurora corridor nearby, you will notice empty lots and an abandoned building. The city council however, changed city rules to allow the church to sell and clear-cut this space. It was unnecessary and many neighbors simply said, “right idea, wrong spot.”
18 million of mostly public funds, to help 60 families, came to $300,000 per apartment. Simply paying for rent or better yet, incentivizing neighbors in Shoreline to build cottage homes (ADUs) would’ve cost a fraction the amount. The savings could've enabled Shoreline to help many more families. This latter strategy would’ve also infused families within the neighborhood without dramatically changing it.
Half a block down this two lane street (with a non-continuous sidewalk in a busy school zone) is an existing apartment complex. Currently, about 25 elementary school kids use the bus stop that is next to this building. The kids who live here have nowhere to play except for their parking lot. The city could have bought the church's land and created a micro park for those kids who have no safe place to play. According to Shoreline Currents, 69% of residents want small neighborhood parks but apparently nothing is being done.
The city should have done a better job authorizing this project. Moving forward, we need to build smarter and be cost-effective to better maximize public funds so we can help the highest number of families possible.