As Jim McKay Used to Say
If you’ve never seen this 31 second clip, please click ‘play’.
Yep, that’s me. Spanning New London to bring you the best in The Parking Lot and the Sidewalk Sagas.
Here’s another little video for you.
Oh happy day!
Oh happy day!
Ok, can you tell yet that things went really well at the P&Z Meeting last night?🙂
Five people actually showed to speak and voiced their objections. No, that’s not five more people…that’s five total; me, my husband, my neighbor, and two people from the other side of the darn lot. But it’s better than nothing. My husband even got up and spoke on the issue. I was surprised. I didn’t expect him to speak. I, of course, did not speak. We’ve already discussed public speaking is not my forte. They told us we had to stick to the items on the agenda if we were going to talk. My neighbor and I figured that messed up almost the entire 90 second speech we came up with. But, in the end, we may have been too literal on that. Here’s the whole spiel.
Good Evening my name is_______, I live at_____. and this is my neighbor Lisa Darling Gorman, she lives at______. Both of us are lifelong residents of Dell Ave and both of us reside in our respective childhood homes.
For decades, we enjoyed the quite use of our properties. Taking particular pride in the rural atmosphere of our backyards, the peace and serenity, of having what we believed to be a little slice of the country in the middle of the city.
All of that changed this autumn when the leaves fell from the trees and we were left with the glaring view of intrusive eyesore in the form of a parking lot which L+M’s project manager, Adam XXX, stated in a letter to us at the start of this project, would be a “ Nice Addition to our neighborhood.”
This barren monstrosity is anything BUT “a nice addition” to our neighborhood. It has had a great and negative impact our ability to enjoy the haven our yards once offered, where once there was a tranquil view of woodlands there is now a cold stretch of asphalt somewhere near the length of a football field.
We are greatly saddened that the good faith and trust we placed in Lawrence & Memorial Hospital as well as in the City of New London to do right by its tax paying citizens was so egregiously misplaced. Late in 2012, I contacted the project manager and inquired about their landscape plans. At that time, he stated there were no further plans to landscape. AND NOW they want to further intrude on the quiet enjoyment of our property by ILLUMINATING our backyards until midnight every night!
This is UNACCEPTABLE to us.
We feel that L+M should:
1. Landscape the entire north fence line of the lot with mature evergreen trees.
2. Pay the cost to have our yards professionally landscaped to block out view of the parking lot.
3. The majority of this lot is located in a residential neighborhood. As such, we feel it best that this parking lot be for the use first shift ONLY. However, we would be content with the lot staying open NO LATER THAN 9pm with the lights shut off at the same. Provided L+M pay the cost for the homeowners to have their windows tinted and awnings installed on their homes to cut down on the glare from the pole lights.
Not a bad spiel. Not unreasonable. But “landscaping” wasn’t actually addressed when the hospital mouthpiece got up to say his bit so we thought we had to leave it out along with our backstory. When the other gentlemen got up to speak they did talk about the landscaping or rather the lack thereof. They are also upset with the lights and crappy little bushes L&M sorta stuck in the ground here and there. They brought up very good points one of which was the traffic situation. L&M had a traffic study done through the State for 6am-6pm but not for 6am-12am. L&M should have to pay to have another study conducted. Traffic snarls at the particular point now at certain hours of the day….nothing absolutely horrible, mind you but it’s going to be worse when that thing opens.
Given the way L&M behaved at the meeting, I think you can take our nice compromise of ‘no later than 9pm’ OFF the table. Fahgidabudit.
Last night our suspicions were confirmed and I, for one, am no longer willing to give on the light issue. I didn’t want to believe it but I’m certain (as are the neighbors who came last night) that L&M is trying to pull The Old Bait and Switch. They were ALWAYS after a second shift parking lot, but, they knew that if they presented plans for a 2nd shift parking lot in that spot they would NEVER get it. So, they pitched it as a first shift lot open from 6am to 6pm. This kept the neighborhood from bitching and probably (like me) from even showing up at the initial meetings. We’re not heartless and we’re not irrational. We know the hospital needs more parking and we are willing to help because we really ARE “good neighbors”. But L&M took advantage of that figuring once the lot was built they’d just get the variance they wanted all along because…what the hell…the parking lot is already there so what was anyone going to do about it?
We’re going to stand up and say “NO” as loudly as we can. That’s what we’re going to do about it. We are Tax Paying Citizens Hear Us roar!
L&M tried to say that their parking lot was shared with the Recovery Room (restaurant) and mini-Dunkin’ Donuts. No, it’s not. If it was actually ‘shared’…what’s with the big fence separating the lots? Other than that DD closes at 9pm and I don’t think the Recovery Room is open much past 10 or 11. And it’s a SMALL restaurant it’s not like living next door to a TGI Fridays or Buffalo Wild Wings or nightclub or something like that. It’s a nice neighborhood restaurant/bar and a “good neighbor”.
Then L&M tried to argue that it needed the lot to stay open until midnight for people unexpectedly working a double shift. What are they going to do?
Ah, move their car at some point during the day? Have a friend move the car? I mean, they’ve got 12 hours to move it…I think they can find 15-20 minutes in there to do just that. What do you think? The lot is only somewhere around 1/4 mile away from the hospital. The employees WALK to the Dunkin’ Donuts ALL the time! So, while they’re over there getting their coffee they can MOVE THEIR CAR. See how that works?
Then they started saying my neighborhood is unsafe! Hey! That’s not cool! This is not the Crystal Avenue high-rise! This is a small lower-middle class neighborhood full of hard-working people. Yeah, we have crime like any other part of town but I would definitely feel safe walking from my house to the parking lot at midnight. Creeped out because it’s dark but safe just the same. The hospital wants to have shuttles until midnight too! For a distance of…maybe…1/4 mile.
Then they started trying to be magnanimous saying that L&M realizes there’s a parking problem that’s existed for years and they’re trying to help that situation with their new parking lot.
I grew very disheartened. If they really wanted to be “good neighbors” and help the parking situation then why didn’t they build a new parking garage on the Montauk Avenue lot? It’s right across the street from the hospital…I mean DIRECTLY across the street. It’s big, it’s empty, they let the view go to shit a long time ago. So why didn’t they build a 3 level parking garage over there? I mean they can’t be cash poor they are buying Westerly Hospital. I would think if they were really interested in being “good neighbors” they would done that instead of laying down that barren patch of asphalt longer than a football field in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
But, as L&M spoke and then rebutted what we had to say, a strange thing happened. Two of the P&Z members really hammered them. One of them even admitted to having visited the site to see what we were talking about! Yeah! I couldn’t believe someone connected with this city would care enough to do that. I certainly don’t think Adam and the mouthpiece bothered to do the same. If they did they too would understand what we are talking about and might be able to see things from a ‘neighborly’ perspective rather than a financial one. One of them outright said he didn’t believe L&M. He said that, given the speech they gave and all of their reasoning for wanting the lights on until midnight, had probably been foreseen by the hospital but simply were not presented to P&Z when they should have been, which was at the beginning of this thing. YEAH! I was so proud of those two I could have kissed them!
They agreed with my neighbors as they questioned and spoke about car lights, and starting cars, and car alarms, going off in the middle of the night in a residential neighborhood. About the noise of the added traffic burden to the neighborhood and to those who may be trying to sleep before midnight. I sat there staring at those two thinking to myself: Holy shit! There IS Intelligent Life in the City of New London! Who knew????
These two gentlemen seemed to feel the way that we do, which is that Lawrence & Memorial Hospital is trying to pull the old Bait and Switch.
Two members were clearly in favor of the hospital and didn’t care so much about the tax paying residents. Boo!
The other three were definitely able to see where both sides are coming from and seem to hope an amicable conclusion can be reached. Wimps.
Then there was the City Engineer and I believe the other guy was the City Attorney. Definitely not on the side of New London tax payers. If anyone thinks he is…kindly think again. One of the P&Z members actually said that our property values had been lowered and as such our tax rates might go down if we complain enough and he was not in favor of anything that made us pay less taxes. He didn’t say it quite like that…he just that he thought the City should get every dime coming to it, that’s justly coming to it, and he’s right. The squirmy little nerdy attorney started bitching about how he couldn’t/shouldn’t say things like that. I wanted to stand up and invite the squint over for coffee, ask him if he thought my property value had just skyrocketed with the “nice addition” of the parking lot. Trust me…my property isn’t worth what it was before that lot was built and it will never be worth the same until the lot is properly landscaped so that it fits in with its woodland surroundings and those lights go off at 6pm. Who is going to want to buy my house if they look at THAT?
One of the gentlemen from the neighborhood who came to the meeting last night was chit-chatting with us and he said; “Whoever lives in the white house definitely has it the worst.”
And I said; “That’s me!”
Hubby showed Adam the pictures I took of the yard on his phone hoping Adam gets a better idea of our view. He won’t. L&M just wants what L&M wants and they don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t have it. After all, they are THE HOSPITAL. They “need” this for their employees.
L&M has roped off a smallish section of the lot on the hospital proper for years to reserve it for 2nd shift people. So 2nd shift should be parking there. AND they have that 3 level parking garage. I know it’s full during the day but at night…come the end of visiting hours…it’s pretty damn easy to find a spot to park. So how about they use that?
As the meeting took a break and was adjourned before the vote I went out for a cigarette thinking; This is weird, we might win this thing.
We did! Can you believe it???? We won!🙂
The subjects discussed last night will be revisited at some future point but for now…lights on until 6pm, baby!
I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. I was absolutely stunned and amazed. I figured we’d go down there, sit, listen, say our piece, they’d give us the finger and we’d go home. But they didn’t!
We have to stay on top of it. We’ve won the battle but not the war. Not yet. But we will.
While I hate to say it, Red, a little spark of hope is rekindled in my heart. I know it’s dangerous but I’m gonna tend it anyway and see if I can fan it into a full flame. Sorry, Red but, in the end Red made it to Zihuatanejo so maybe hope’s not such a bad thing after all.
Time will tell on that one.
Round 1 to the Good Guys!🙂