I'm not talking about Lower Greenville. Angela Hunt was representing the developers here on Oak Lawn Ave regarding the drive thru Starbucks and the Parking Lot/Wine Store at the Oak Lawn Committee. I believe she might also be tied to the attempted upzoning of the nearby residential areas? My point is she's meddling and not for the benefit of the residents, but for outside developers. The city council is too weak. Who cares if the local business owners are opposed to a project that is the GREATER GOOD for the future of the neighborhood? Their short term fears about losing a buck or two is not a sufficient reason the repair and upgrade existing infrastructure that does not work for the city as we know it today, and will not work for the future. The citizens of this city deserve leaders that will act for the CITIZENS FIRST and business interests second.
I know you weren't focused on Greenville ave but I think it needed to be said because they are two vastly different places and how to achieve a common goal of improvement for Cedar Springs means we need to approach things realistically based on the current structures and power networks as they exist today. Greenville happened because of X Cedar Springs hasn't happened yet because of Y.
I will say I disagree with your CITIZENS first claim because those businesses are citizens. The people that work at those bars many of them live nearby so they have a first-hand understanding of the conditions they live and work in. They walk those streets and spend money at the businesses that aren't the bars too. Its one thing to point at Kroger and say they are a national company and their opinions should be capped but who is to say the local businesses don't have valid concerns? Cedar Springs isn't exactly a corporate chain business street.
I think we need to stop seeing this as a big business vs the altruistic citizen brigade if we want to accomplish a common goal of a strong, safe and economically supportive neighborhood. Plus I don't want city hall spending money on projects because they have decided they are the moral high ground. Taking input from citizens like they did was a perfectly sound decision and if a neighborhood doesn't want something I certainly think it would be foolish to force it on them. Spend tax money where the neighborhood wants City Hall to make changes. There are plenty of neighborhood associations that are willing to work with the city and local businesses on improvements that everyone can agree on in some form in other parts of the city.
Right now we have a group of private citizens that the mayor calls on for improvements to the gaybourhood. The LGBT Task Force meets at city hall regularly to discuss issues and not everyone in that group runs the bars. Its actually made up of a lot of interested parties including people who live in that neighborhood. Maybe that's a place to start because the last time I discussed these issues with a few of them they are not convinced the Lower Greenville kind of pedestrian improvements is a worthwhile investment.