An email from Stacey Moulds, Garden Manager for the Tricycle Gardens’ Jefferson Ave Community Garden, regarding a proposed development adjacent to the garden space:
Hello Union Hill Residents & Business Owners:
I am the Garden Manager for the Tricycle Gardens’ Jefferson Ave Community Garden. The Garden urgently needs your support to oppose plans for a mixed-use commercial/residential project (2308 Jefferson Ave) being presented to CAR (Commission of Architecture Review) for a Certificate of Appropriateness. The CAR meeting is Tuesday, July 26th beginning at 3:30 pm *(See bottom of email for details).
Ignored Input from the Community – Many of you attended the March 2nd Union Hill Civic Association (UHCA) meeting and provided substantial input in regards to the project design and size. The developers promised to come back to UHCA with modified changes prior to returning to CAR. Instead, they have decided to ignore any of our input and are submitting their original plans with no changes at all to the design or size other than minimal changes to the front facade. They have noted in their submittal that they “met with the neighborhood” and listed the March 2nd meeting but failed to mention that the submitted plans do not reflect any changes based on input received.
Problem with the Project – This project will negatively affect the Union Hill neighborhood as well as the Community Garden. The proposed building is double in length and taller (3 stories vs. 2) than any of the adjacent residential or commercial buildings on the south side of Jefferson Ave. All of the surrounding commercial buildings are masonry construction whereas the proposed project is frame construction with Hardiplank siding. All of the HVAC units will be visible from the alley as well as along Jefferson Ave and 24th street. The conceptual plans have several key issues that make its buildability questionable. It will be very visible not only Jefferson Avenue, but also along 24th street and in the public alley between 23rd and 24th streets due to its height, length and siting.
The Jefferson Ave Community Garden has been in existence since 2003 when it was started by Tricycle Gardens. Not only does the garden provide much needed space for residents to grow their own food, it also serves as a beautiful, peaceful and nourishing oasis for the neighborhood and its urban wildlife. The garden happily remains affiliated with Tricycle Gardens (whose headquarters are next door to the garden on the other side at 2314 Jefferson Ave) and Tricycle Gardens intends to permanently keep this space as a community garden. It is therefore of the upmost importance that the immediate development be compatible with the garden.
We need as many people as possible to attend the July 26th CAR meeting and state their opposition to the current project plans. Please contact Stacey Moulds (firstname.lastname@example.org and (804) 241-6242, mobile) if you will be able to attend and also if you are willing to speak at the meeting. We are working on providing transportation to and from the meeting for those who need it as parking is difficult (or you could walk or ride a bike!).
If you are unable to attend, would you be willing to write an email or letter? I can provide a template letter with the specific problems of the project that you can modify as you see fit.
Your Input is Critical in shaping the ultimate design of this project and how it will affects our neighborhood and community garden.
*CAR Meeting Info:
Date: Tuesday, July 26th
Location: 5th Floor Conference Room of City Hall
Time: 3:30 pm ( we are listed 7th on the agenda following the business meeting, but there is always a chance they could move the project to the consent agenda which means it would be discussed immediately following the business meeting)