Letter: ‘Our Community Has Lost Its Fight’

Jan. 26, 2000       

Dear Editor:

      Our community has lost its fight to save the corner of 25th and Charles. But have we also lost our right to fight for the next beleaguered block, and the ones after that?

      On January 7, as the last of the grand old buildings was reduced to rubble, our legal case was dismissed--before it was even heard. Why? Because our Associate City Solicitor argued away our statutory right to have our day in court.

      And when I say “our,” I don’t mean those of us who object to the suburbanization of our City. I mean all of us. I mean the right of every City taxpayer to appeal a bad Zoning Board decision.

      That right is codified in the Zoning Ordinance, which was just re-enacted in December by the City Council. We all need to ask how a statutory right can be so easily removed, and why the City law department would want that to happen.

      We should not have to go all the way to the Appeals Court just to keep from being silenced. But if we must, we will--with the continued support of those who treasure our architectural heritage, and the added support of those who cherish their individual rights.

                                        Douglas Armstrong
                                        Committee for Responsible
                                        Development on 25th Street

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This story was published on February 2, 2000.