The Central Citizens Advisory Council last Monday heard a pair of presentations this week: one on coming changes that will affect the area, and another on a new way for residents to connect online.
Local resident Veronica Alcine encountered a few technical difficulties while explaining the impacts the coming remapping process will have on the area, but managed to get her points across nonetheless.
While much of the remapping process undertaken by the city will focus on commercial and industrial properties, it will also bring with it the rezoning of some residential lots as well.
Alcine said the property she lives in with her husband on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be changed from an R-20 to an R-10. Under the previous zoning, Alcine and her husband would have been able to develop multifamily housing on the property with a maximum of 20 units per acre. The new zoning permits half that number.
While the Alcines have no plans to build such a structure, she said she just wanted to use it as an example of the kind of changes that would be affecting members of the Central CAC.
Alcine ran into some trouble, likely due to the WiFi connection inside the John P. “Top” Greene Center, when trying to demonstrate how to use the city’s website to look up potential changes to a property. The site is simple enough to use, and after searching an address, before and after maps display side-by-side, showing both the types of zoning new and old and an explanation thereof.
Robert Sanders, vice-chair of the Central CAC, said residents need to keep an eye on any zoning changes and their potentially adverse side effects.
“We can’t be asleep on this,” Sanders warned.
Hillary Leacock, from the city’s Community Development Department, addressed the CAC regarding redevelopment of the Stone’s Warehouse, located near the intersection of Davie and East Streets. The city put out a request for expressions of interest for the property, Leacock said.
Seven responses were received, ranging from proposals for a grocery store to one for a charter school. Leacock said the city will now issue a request for proposals for which only the original seven developers are eligible.
Once the final proposals are received, the city will grade them on a variety of factors and make a decision on which one is most appropriate for the space.
Leacock said the different developers may present their cases to the CAC at some point in the future, but that the final decision would be left up to City Council.
Alcine made a second presentation Monday, this one focusing on a social media web site she had used to make an online community for the neighborhood.
The site, Nextdoor.com, is a social networking service that allows users to connect online with people in their neighborhoods.
It requires first-time visitors to enter their address in order to locate any relevant communities. Residents of the Central CAC who visit the site and type in their address will be brought to “Nextdoor South Park.” Twenty-two residents have already signed up.
“Social media gets information out to a large group of people with less effort,” Alcine said. “This way we can present the CAC to everyone.”