HHNA Neighbor Meeting re Washington School last week

HHNA & WSN neighbor feedbackLast week Wednesday, just after the Washington Elementary development open house, some Holland Historic Neighborhood Association leaders opened their home to neighbors to listen for what were positives and concerns regarding the proposed development, and consider what next steps we could take. Here is an outline of the proposed development and the results of that neighbor listening:

Proposed Development of Washington Elementary School building and property:

  • 34 units in building (1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, and townhouses) – rentals
  • 12 2-story row houses on the property – home owner
  • 68 parking spaces total (detached garages and standard spaces included)

What neighbors thought were Positives:

  • The building development that is proposed is attractive!
  • This is a wonderful re-purposing of a vacant building!
  • These are good developers, willing to take a risk
  • The community needs more housing options
  • Target audience of Young Professionals is desirable
  • Property values will rise
  • The town house “visual” is an improvement in the neighborhood
  • Glad that they plan to leave 11th St. as a cul-de-sac, and not open it to through traffic
  • Positive that rental aspect of the development will be contained within the existing building

What neighbors thought were Concerns:

  • The development leaves no park or green space for the neighborhood
  • This will be a significant and inordinate increase in population density
  • The plan seems too uniform (like dorms)
    • not unique, would like to see more diversity in housing and population (per existing neighborhood feel)
  • That many of the of the units will be for rent, the future quality of which could change depending on managment
  • The target audience of “young professionals” isn’t so great (Scrapyard Lofts anecdotal experience)
  • Would like to see more condos for purchase
    • it is more difficult to change from rentals to condos in the future, so we should start with more condos
  • 11th St. would see heavy increases in traffic and become a potential bottle-neck
  • General heavily concentrated increase in traffic undesirable
  • We don’t want to scare away these developers – they are good people!

Our plan of action forward as neighbors was to invite residents to attend the open meetings at City Hall regarding this development, and to do a quick projected density comparison based on current residents and traffic patterns for this specific area.

Next meeting Tuesday Oct. 27, 4p at City Hall.

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