Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who says I'm not against things...

A couple things in the news that I'm on the naysayer side of:

Property owner, historic group clash over Village's future -QCTimes

I've defended Mr. Wisor on some of his projects, like the building on Mound, but he's kind of worn out his welcome in the East Village as far as I'm concerned. Between more parking and more suburban-type structures, these are the last things the Village needs. The Design Center created renderings of various historic-looking infill buildings that could be built in the village, and there are plenty of vacant or underused spots for them. No need to tear down a historic building in Iowa's largest historic district to build a new house. If he really wants a half million dollar house, maybe he should walk a block up Fulton and see half a dozen of them. I hope the council has a spine on this one instead of ignoring the Historic Preservation Committee like they did with the Deutsh House. Why even have an HPC if the council ignores its wishes?
Also: Cruiser covered this yesterday.

Davenport Beach & Harbor -- that has a nice ring -QCTimes

Barb Ickes thinks that Mayor Gluba's son has a good idea here, and I can't completely disagree. A beach (while gross) and harbor would be good things for the Davenport riverfront. The problem is that while this is one person's suggestion, there were several hundred Davenport and Rock Island folks that got together a few years ago and decided what to do with this space. Its called RiverVision, and its already in the works. I'm curious if the Glubas don't know about RiverVision's plans for Crescent Park, or just feel that this harbor idea trumps what large numbers of Davenporters came up with.

Now, I can think of a place that already has a lagoon that could be reconnected to the Mississippi and used for boating and a beach, and that place is Credit Island. Replace the causeway with a bridge, raise some of the land around the lagoon, and you could have the same exact proposal another mile or two down the river. Seems like a good compromise to me, which I guess ruins my cred as a naysayer.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you on this one. I wonder why Mr. Wisor wouldn't submit a floor plan when asked. Rumor is he wants to put condos on the lot, and with 4 garage doors on the building I can see why he was denied.

Anonymous said...

Slow learner.

Anonymous said...

If the guy can add half a mil to the tax base, and the house is in as bad shape as he claims, why not let him tear it down? He's right when he asks who else would be willing to fix the place up. I disagreed with him on the parking lot issue, but he's got a point on this one.

QCI, are you suggesting that the council do whatever the HPC says? They can't hear their side and decide to go another way? They (the HPC)are an advisory board--the council has to balance many factors when making these decisions, not just bow to the will of the historical preservation people.

Anonymous said...

QCI converting over to Naysayerism?

Who woulda thunk it?


pioneer98 said...

There has to be a way to make all parties happy here. Why not do some kind of land swap? There are other lots down there that would be in a less visible location that the HPC would approve. Only way this doesn't really work is if he really does have some ulterior motive for wanting that specific lot, like wanting to put condos there on the main drag. I guess?

QuadCityImages said...

In some cases, such as a unanimous decision against tearing down a 100+ year old house, I wouldn't mind the HPC having more authority. Maybe something where the council needs 8 of 10 votes to override them or something. This also works well if there are a few people on HPC who aren't thought of as "hysterical" as people like to throw around.

I guess I just view this as strike 2 or 3 on Wisor wanting things that aren't in the Village's best long-term interests.

Anonymous said...

He seems awfully proud of that 500K figure he's throwing around. I can guarantee you rehabbing that place wouldn't cost anywhere near that.

He's using the logic that it's "beyond repair" Bullshit. If you've got 500K to throw around, it's not even in the ballpark of "beyond repair."

Anonymous said...

Offer to rehab the place for less. Next meeting about it, offer your detail plan to rehad the place for less. Make sure that it keeps it exactly like it would have been back when it was first built. Chances are, no wiring or plumbing(at least indoors).

I still think the city or the HPC should buy up all this land to control how it is used. Whether to rehab or to allow a night club. It would be the decision of the property owner.


QuadCityImages said...

So if your neighbor wanted to build a toxic waste treatment plant, that would be fine since its his land?

There's a reason we have zoning laws and building codes, which is to protect the good of the city and citizens as a whole over what one particular property owner wants. If someone doesn't want to deal with zoning or building codes, they can build somewhere else. The same holds true with not wanting to deal with the HPC. If he doesn't want them blocking his demolition, he shouldn't have bought a house in a historic district.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I want to go that extreme. You got me there. You want the other end of that extreme. You want no say in how you use your property. You want others to make that decision. I don't believe you do think that, so don't say I do.

I don't have a problem with the zoning laws, but treat everyone the same. If I want to tear down my 1948 home and build another one, I can. The neighbors on either side can't. Their homes are 100 years old or older. They have to get permission from people who have no financial stake in the matter. It's easy to tell others how to spend their money.

I still say the city or HPC should buy all the properties to control how they are used. I have a feeling that this guy may just let the thing rot unless someone buys it.