Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Chauncey Rezone - Land Use Part #2

Indy Star columnist Matthew Tully  (he's the Dave Bangert of the Big City) recently wrote that there is some wisdom to be found in the political process. This runs counter to the common notion that everybody who has a nameplate and a comfortable chair at a public meeting ought to be drowned in a bathtub.

Quoting a state legislator, Tully went on that the biggest issue facing the state may be our lack of ambition. There are real opportunities out there for us, but unless we can think 10 or 20 years out, we are going to be left even further behind than we are now in Indiana.

This rezone is the second part of an ambitious three part project to preserve and enhance the New Chauncey neighborhood.  It will help preserve historic homes of the 1920's and 30's. It will help preserve a multi-class, multi-generational, near campus neighborhood that hearkens back to a time when the American university was a residential community rather than an industry. It would, by allowing a mix of residential densities, serve as a counterpoint to the neighborhood segregation by class and income that is a feature of modern real-estate and the bane of urban sociologists.

Things have changed in the six years since this project began. That is a narrative for another time. But this six years worth of work on a neighborhood land-use plan, a companion rezone, and an overlay design zone, is worthy of the 11 - 0 vote the APC gave "Z2619" last night. 

This ambition of the City of West Lafayette may not impact the Bunder's all that very much now. But it will sure help the people who will one day buy our house.


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