Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lindsay Park Meeting


Lindsay Park patrons wary of changes -QCTimes

We were wary alright. Most even more wary than I was. Despite lots of people taking a turn at the microphone, no one said they were in favor of more surface parking being added to Lindsay Park. Only one business owner spoke, and he said his business does fine with the current parking situation. Several Aldermen were there, including Alderman Frink, Boom, Justin, Lynn, and Meeker. Alderman Justin went up to the mic to tell everyone that the elected officials were hearing us loud and clear.

Most of the meeting was actually about other issues than the rumored parking changes. With the large turnout relative to how little the city seemed to be pushing for the parking change, I almost wondered if it was a trick to get dozens of people to the meeting. Leak the idea that the city wants to get rid of the basketball courts, get 50 or 60 people to show up, and then try to get them to help design a new master plan for Lindsay Park. I don't think that's what happened, but it wouldn't have been the worst idea. There were several new processes for neighborhoods around the city that were discussed, but I'd suggest watching the meeting online or on the city channel rather than me trying to paraphrase it all.

After the meeting, I was talking to someone who hadn't been involved in this kind of thing in Davenport for very long. He seemed surprised that people would think the city would spring something like this on them. I told him the story of the River Vision meetings, which drew hundreds of people with hundreds of great ideas for Davenport's riverfront. Then at the final meeting, a little red box labeled "casino hotel" appeared on the map, which hadn't been talked about at any of the previous meetings. Davenport has actually been doing much better than that since, but the problem is that the city has a long way to go to regain people's trust.

I believe Lindsay Park is safe from parking lot expansion, but try getting some folks to believe that.

20 Comments:

At 5/13/2009 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI - are you the one that mentioned about the alley improvement plan that the city has drawn up? If so, how do I go about getting that information?

 
At 5/13/2009 4:54 PM, Blogger rascal said...

You can get the info on the alley improvement from Darrin Nordahl at the City Design Center, City Hall, Davenport.

 
At 5/13/2009 5:31 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I'll see what I can find, and if there's some kind of summary I can post.

 
At 5/13/2009 5:33 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

According to the city website:

Alley Resurfacing - Alleys in need of major maintenance are resurfaced under a program administered by the Engineering Division. The City currently shares the cost of resurfacing with the owners of properties along the alley. The City pays one half of the cost and assesses half of the costs to the properties along the alley. A person interested in having their alley rehabilitated will be required to circulate a petition among all the owners along the alley to determine interest among the necessary parties. If you are interested in this program, please fill out an Engineering Request in our Action Center to initiate participation. Fill out the form as completely as possible and type alley resurfacing in the request description box. The program coordinator will then contact you to begin the process.


I don't know if this is up to date, or what you were looking for. Let me know if it answers your question.

 
At 5/13/2009 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one flaw to the alley resurfacing program, at least that effects the 3rd Ward Alley's. You need to get 50% of the property owners along the alley to sign the petition that they will pay the reconstruction assessment. Problem is that over half the people living along those alley's are Tenants, and don't have any say in the repair. Try getting an out of town landlord to say he's going to pay for an expensive alley construction. He doesn't live there, and it doesn't bother him that a tenant might have to drive through a few alley ruts.

Just one more plan that looks great on paper, and even better after a few beers at Mac`s, but in pracnicallity, it doesn't work.

 
At 5/15/2009 8:30 AM, Anonymous Nathan Brown said...

In regards to the alley program, we are looking into changing the policy and incorporating it into the budget process. This is what taxes are for, fixing the streets/alleys/sewers, and that is what we are trying to get to. I know it seems slow, but we are working on it.

 
At 5/15/2009 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alderman Brown:

Don't be too quick to fix something that isn't broken. The current policy of adjacent property owners footing half the bill is a fair compromise, since the alleys serves primarily those lots adjacent to it. Those who benefit from the alley should contribute more to its maintenance. Save that money for the streets---they benefit the entire community and could use the additional funding that would be drained to pay for alleys.

 
At 5/15/2009 9:37 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Did you not read the post before about rental properties? If you happen to live on an alley with a decent proportion of rental properties, it makes it hard to get the needed "votes" to have it done.

I agree that its right to have adjacent home owners foot part of the bill, but I don't think its right for landlords to be able to keep an alley in disrepair through disinterest.

 
At 5/15/2009 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were to get a majority (over 50%) of the signatures of those property owners who live along the alley to agree, then you should be able to go along with repaving. Maybe it would be a little move attractive to those apposing to have the cost added in segments to their sewer bill or the likes. Landlord then would more likely yo go along with it as it would be an business expense, tax deductible. Just a thought.

 
At 5/16/2009 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I did read the post, QCI, and this is something I know a little more about than you, having gone through the process. My point is that a good portion of the funds should be provided by those who directly benefit from the improvement, whether they agree to it or not. The policy could be changed to assess those properties who are not in favor of the improvement.

And to be precise, it's not 50% of the property owners who need to agree, it's based on the square footage of the lots along the alley.

 
At 5/16/2009 4:50 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

So you think the city should pay less than half?

Do you think there should be input from the folks paying the bill at all, or just have the city decide which alleys to redo? Maybe 25% of the adjacent property must agree instead of 50?

 
At 5/16/2009 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least in the third ward, most properties and square footages are about the same. Where that might come into play is when someone, either a homeowner or an out of town landlord might own a parcel with the house, plus a vacant lot or two next to the property and all of the parcels butt up to the alley. That way the homeowner with 2 parcels gets twice as much voting power as a homeowner or landlord that only has one parcel. The other side of the coin is that the property owner with 2 or more parcels pays two times or more the repair costs of the property owner who only owns one parcel.

 
At 5/17/2009 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city doesn't ask permission of the owner, tenant or the neighbors if a parcel needs a sewer fixed, water main replaced, tree removed, building boarded, or sidewalk replaced. If it's a problem, they just fix it, and if possible, bill it to the property owner. It should be no different with the alley. If it's beyond patching, fix it, and send them a bill.

 
At 5/17/2009 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

prairie heights alley construction?

 
At 5/18/2009 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! The city does not have the right to abate any nuisance without first mailing and posting a legal document giving the owner time to rectify situations such as open/abandoned buildings, trash removal, sidewalk repair or tenant/housing inspections. And if you look into the city codes, the only situation the city gets involved with trees is if there is a safety concern or empeeds public right-of-way.

The property owners are responsible for the parcels side to side and from the curb line to dead center of the alley> Now let me say, curb line, boulevard, sidewalk and alleyway are public property but the land owner abutting these areas are required, by code to maintain them to city requirements.

 
At 5/18/2009 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now let me say further that if the city was to enforce the codes that do exist, there wouldn't be a bad alley in the city. The sticky situation is there are elderly and lower class folks out there that are barely making ends meet now and charging them with alley resurface fees doesn't sit well. Especially those who exercise there voting rights. Give me one alderman that will stand up for the existing codes and I'll show you one poor sucker not getting re-elected. Alderman Ambrose is a perfect example.

 
At 5/19/2009 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambrose will get re elected. No one listens more or helps more then him.

 
At 5/19/2009 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean nobody listens to what Ambrose has to say. He is one of two naysayers on the council. On top of it, the guy isn't too smart either. Tell me what was his last job outside the council and why doesn't he talk about it?

 
At 5/20/2009 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Alderman who do it full time, do the best job. The others are spread too thin.

 
At 5/22/2009 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambrose gets re-elected. So, he must be doing something right.

Nitrous55

 

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