Wednesday, June 03, 2015

a comment from a supporter of the current McMillan plan

Below is a comment from an earlier blog post focusing upon identifying those who support the current McMillan plan.


Speaking for myself, as I may have one of the Create McMillan Park signs you are talking about (though I can think of several more than 2 off the top of my head).
I do not like all of the backstory-- going back for decades-- as you and others have laid it out again and again, though I think the criticism doesn't have direct relevance to the features of the plan at hand. Lobbyists and PR firms participating in a land-use question of this magnitude should not be surprising in this city so well supplied with them, even if the participation pushes limits of the perception of propriety even if legal.

That said, I am for the current plan-- not because of any testimony written for me or any financial connection (as I have none).

I support it precisely because-- this opinion of mine may surprise you or not coming from a plan supporter-- of the results of the constructive pressure by groups such as Save McMillan Park and the MAG. I credit them, our ANCs and civic associations with pushing hard to the point that the current plan is much better than where it stood years ago in form, function, and community benefits.

The mention of "years ago" brings me to another point-- right now, we have a fenced off site and decades of inability to use it. Bringing this process to square one as you and others suggest-- for any well intentioned design competition or what have you-- means waiting another decade or more until my family or our Bloomingdale neighbors get to use this place (and I have a young child and a house I love- I intend to be here)

I am a pragmatist. I would rather have a plan that will actually be executed, provide community amenities of open space and a new Olmsted Walk, adaptive reuse (i.e. the community center pool within the cell), limited retail (we do need more as RI Ave corridor is filling up and people keep coming) and new housing. Because I strongly prefer planned development and some greater density at McMillan rather than having our row houses gutted, popped up and back ad infinitum and nauseam.

Throughout the development of McMillan, I hope the BCA, MAG, ANC, Council, etc hold the developers' feet to the fire on their commitments-- they need to. And I will be the first to write letters or post petitions in support of those efforts when the time comes.

Frankly, I didn't respond to Mr. Anderson and haven't to most previous posts because I'm a busy working parent who doesn't have the time or energy for endless debate, and don't want to be drawn into more by sitting down with a reporter for an interview. I know several others like me.
I am only writing this now because I am tired of having my own motivations or intelligence put into question by blanket statements.

I support the current McMillan plan. I don't support every element of the process over decades past. I support the plan because it gives McMillan more of a future and benefit to Bloomingdale and our city than watching it decay behind the fences.


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  2. I'm still troubled why there is such a drive to fill up every open space in the city; don't we need more open spaces, parks, trees, recreation, etc. ?