For two days, the Land-Use Action Team met with Stakeholders at the Westside Future Fund’s offices at the City of Refuge. It’s the second in a series of ongoing meetings for each of the six target areas that will influence and drive the action plan. This round focused on English Avenue using the English Avenue Neighborhood Association Visioning Session as a starting point. Stakeholders were grouped into categories of Community Leadership, Residents, Faith-Based Organizations, Developers & Property Owners, Public Safety, Parks & Urban Agriculture, Nonprofit Partners and Retail/Entrepreneurs.
- Using Lean Urbanism with limited resources
- Larger scale development in most blighted areas
- Big challenge is community buy-in, getting residents involved
- Revitalizing without displacing
- Introduce green, renewable, net-zero homes, microgrids
- Challenge getting appraisals – establish a pool of lenders
- Keeping schools open contingent on success of developers
- Plots too small to meet code for what wanting to build.
- Community being developed through smaller developers
- Repurpose Buildings
- Seeking homes to help renovate
- Expanding programs for treating drug addiction
- Creative uses of church properties (ball court, day care)
- Supplying inexpensive rental that’s suitable
- Blight is scattered
- Potential home buyers can’t qualify for programs
- Setting higher affordable housing requirements for new construction
- Use EANA Visioning Report as starting point
- Do overlays from English Avenue plan
- Get watershed to the table
- Note community identifiers (St. Mark, Lindsay Street Park)
- Identify Land-Use Action Plan with prominent DRAFT
- Explain how we got here (input leading to recommendations)
- Create tourism opportunities
PARKS & URBAN AGRICULTURE
- How do we build a network of food producing properties?
- Take advantage of incentives/grants from USDA/RCS
- Edible landscapes
- Create a local/community farmer’s market
- Connected green spaces/pollinator highway to be catalyst for health/community
- Trying to replicate what’s happening in Vine City
- Urban agriculture as community building
- Training, education storage facility
- Stop feedings out of the back of the car/truck
- Become most food rich center of the city
- Take food/garden/resources inventory then look at opportunity
- Call it urban agriculture not just community/family garden
- Creating local shelf space ACE program – in bodego, gas stations.
- Creating short term (3 to 5 years) for growing on vacant land
- Growing on pallets (can move when property use changes)
- Create economic opportunity (supply food to stadium)
- Reaching seniors about Land-Use Action Plan?
- Homeowner repair programs
- Concern over absentee landlords
- Concerns over mixed use developments
- What is being done for landlords not accepting vouchers anymore.
- Figuring out numbers for how much affordable housing is needed and what exactly that is.
- Provide a hotline for people being threatened with eviction/foreclosure
- Immediate need for families in crisis – dealing with concentrations of poverty and people moving or being moved out of the neighborhood.
- More nonprofits working here than in other cities – but don’t know what each other is doing.
- Services continually shifting creating instability
- “Fight against Blight Walk”
- Changing perception of neighborhoods
- Getting residents more involved (shaming absentee landlords into compliance)
- Connecting resources to violators
- Code enforcement (only outside – need permission or warrant to enter)
- Be more aggressive in getting landlords to meet codes in apartment complex.
- Police officers as neighborhood liaison
- Get people more invested in their own properties (St. Mark cleanup)
- Illegitimate boarding houses
- Improve sidewalks
- Creative forms of retails (pop up spaces)
- Shipping containers as temporary retail space
- Money needs to be allocated for Boone & Lowery
- Securing champions to make projects a reality
- Small developer Bootcamp
- Finding demand for products and services
- Having local mentors (for young people to emulate)