Guest Columnist Janet Hommel
Dear Mayor Leary, Vice-Mayor Weldon, and City Manager Randy Knight:
We have a problem in Winter Park. You, as city leaders, are not fostering a culture of listening to residents, especially those on the Westside.
Recently, we pleaded with you not to sell Blake Yard. We begged you to consider making a community garden of the space. This was one of the last gems of city-owned urban greenspace.
After you up-zoned and sold Blake Yard, we fought the intrusion of an 8-unit cluster housing apartment building on Comstock, a street of single family homes. Again, you didn’t consider residents’ concerns.
Now you have a proposal to bisect W. Lyman Avenue at New York. You will cut off the Westside from Park Avenue. I read in the agenda item that the Chamber of Commerce is in favor of this change. I note further that staff will reach out to local businesses and will take this concept to the Transportation Advisory Board and the CRA Advisory Board for further review.
What’s missing here? Oh, them! Has it occurred to you to ask what the residents think — especially those on the Westside who will be most impacted?
What would be your reaction if the city were going to cut your street in half, making your block a dead end and forcing you to reroute to reach the other side of town? Imagine further that the city didn’t inform you of this, but rather sought input only from the neighbors on the other half of the bisected street – all of whom were commercial.
Now, try to imagine how we on the Westside feel.
258 W. Lyman Avenue
Winter Park, Florida