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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Squeaky Wheels vs. Community Vision

Just returned from a city council meeting in neighboring Mountain View where they will be voting later this evening on whether to allow a Day Worker Center to go forward with a relocation or to stop it in deference to neighbors who don't want it there. The neighbors protest that their property values will go down while crime and traffic will go up. They say it's a commercial enterprise that should not be allowed.

Hopefully, the council will follow the staff recommendations to let it go forward. The police studied the old location (lease ran out) and found no increase in crime over its five years there. The traffic director did a study and found no traffic problems will occur. There are numerous courses given at the site - like English as a second language. Meals and health care screenings. They've got the best volunteer landscapers of any nonprofit agency in the town.

PBS commentator Ray Suarez once spoke in Palo Alto about the changing neighborhoods across the U.S. He asked how many folks had checked the value of their home recently and virtually all hands went up. He reminded folks that not many years ago, homes were purchased as places to live and not as an investment. The Mountain View neighbors don't want a commercial enterprise to locate among them, but it seems - at this point - each of the homeowners is more like a commercial enterprise themself.

Seems to me that living in a community means integrating social service agencies, schools, libraries, homeless shelters, and neighborhood serving retail with housing. Hopefully the council members will use their "community vision."

1 comment:

  1. Elliot8:29 PM

    I read in the morning newspaper that the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to allow the Day Workers' Center to relocate, overriding the 130 neighbors who signed a petition to stop the center.
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