Newspaper logo  
 
 
   Response to Joan Floyd's "Hopping Mad" Op-Ed

COMMENTARY CONTINUES:

Response to Joan Floyd’s “Hopping Mad” Op-Ed

by Alfred W. Barry, III

I read, with interest, the September 5th story by Joan Floyd and, as you know, there are two sides to every story.

Her story regarding the apartment project behind her home leaves an unfortunate impression with the casual reader that the City administration is illegally condoning a project that will negatively impact her community.

The developer's role in this story goes back over two years when he began meeting with the community association to explore residential development of a cleared site that was zoned for heavy commercial use. During the next several months, alternatives were presented for a 45-unit, market-rate apartment building that included an all-brick, four-story design. A Task Force of nearby residents was established at the suggestion of the City that included Ms. Floyd's husband [Doug Armstrong], who attended the meetings, pointedly as an "observer," and without any meaningful contribution. It became clear that Ms. Floyd and her husband were only interested in stopping development of the property. Those members of the Task Force that participated endorsed the project.

A rezoning bill to downzone the heavy commercial zoning to a residential classification consistent with the neighborhood was introduced and received a favorable recommendation from the Planning Commission. However, at the neighborhood association's request, the City Council refused to rezone the property until a public discussion could be held in the community on December 11, 2001. City representatives described what could be developed under both zoning classifications, pointing out that the existing commercial zoning allowed a taller building than the proposed residential zoning. Although the developer acknowledged his ability and intention to proceed under either classification, the majority in attendance chose to retain the existing zoning.

A permit for a 26-unit, seven-story building was issued by the City in November of 2002 and was promptly challenged by Ms. Floyd's husband, delaying construction for over five months. In April of this year, the Zoning Board rejected their legal arguments and affirmed that the developer is within his rights to commence construction. Ms. Floyd invests considerable stock in a previous court decision, but that decision pertained to a restaurant use and is not a precedent for this situation. The City's actions are legal and the developer is allowed to proceed under the law with construction.

What is more ludicrous is Ms. Floyd's continued bemoaning of a substantial, nonsubsidized, $6.5 million dollar housing investment replacing a long-time neighborhood eyesore and nuisance. The development will be state-of-the-art, with secure off-street parking and building entrances, indoor bike storage, community spaces and high speed internet access to all rooms.

Of course, this is not the only example of Ms. Floyd and her husband's opposition to positive neighborhood development. The improvement to the deteriorating Census Building at Howard and 26th Streets has been delayed over a year due to similar legal maneuverings by her husband, despite a community consensus in favor of returning the building to active use.

Ms. Floyd's complaints against the O'Malley administration demonstrate a parochial NIMBY attitude that only discourages private investment that neighborhoods like Remington need and deserve. As Baltimore City shows that it can attract new residents to attractive neighborhoods, development battles such as this one will only increase.

Neighborhoods have a real opportunity to ensure positive development, but that requires a different attitude than "just say no!"


Alfred W. Barry, III is a principal in AB Associates, land use planning consultants.


Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on September 17, 2003.
  
Local Stories, Events
Health Care & Environment

09.18 'Terrifying' New Climate Models Warn of 6-7°C of Warming by 2100 If Emissions Not Slashed

09.17 New Report Details 10 'Critical Transitions' to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Feed the World

09.16 Common pesticide makes migrating birds anorexic [Neonicotinoids, again...]

09.16 ACT plans far-reaching electrification of vehicles and homes in drive to reduce emissions

09.16 'Like a sunburn on your lungs': how does the climate crisis impact health? [Important]

09.16 $1m a minute: the farming subsidies destroying the world [Important]

09.15 German Study: Alarming Levels of Dangerous Plastics in Children's Bodies

09.15 Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt

09.15 The world has a third pole – and it's melting quickly

09.14 Not Just the Bees, First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Neonics May Be Killing Birds Too [A GESTALT: Like happened at Boeing, deregulation has displaced scientific and engineering professionalism in many companies and governments to focus on profits/economics almost exclusively. But after similar failure of scientific rigor, die-off reports of bees, worms and sea-life, generally, there must be a moritorium on production, sale and use of all potentially dangerous chemicals!]

09.13 Trump Rollback of Key EPA Water Protection Rule Denounced as 'Callous' and 'Immoral' Giveaway to Big Polluters

09.13 Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

09.13 Dolphins in Channel carry 'toxic cocktail' of chemicals [What is safe to eat?]

09.11 How Can We Address Climate Change Through Agriculture? [3:43 video]

09.11 New solar tech could revolutionise electricity production

09.11 'It can kill you in seconds': the deadly algae on Brittany's beaches

09.10 How to look after your mental health

09.10 Who’s Ready for the Electric Moped Moment? [Uses car lanes instead of sidewalks!]

09.09 The Climate Investment That Promises 400 Percent Returns

09.09 Suicide rates are rising across the US, especially in rural areas

09.08 Blend solar panels with agriculture, new study recommends

09.08 Before Hurricane Dorian, Charleston Already Had a Flooding Crisis

News Media Matters

09.16 From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing's Glass House

09.15 'No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence': Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision [0:30 video]

09.14 Sanders Campaign Hits Back Against 'Dishonest' Biden Attack on Medicare for All [The facts don't lie, but America's media totally does lie when paid by advertisers to distort single-payer as more expensive: 1:35 video]

09.12 Media bias is OK – if it's honest [‘It should be obvious that there can’t be such a thing as a neutral journalist.’]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.18 Why Trump Can’t Learn: An Educated Guess by a Veteran Teacher [Might dyslexia explain the Republican party, generally?]

09.18 'Heartless and Unconscionable': Outrage as General Motors Cuts Off Healthcare for 50,000 Striking Workers [Hideous corporate behavior putting 50,000 families at greater health and bankruptcy risk.]

09.18 Whole Foods Will Cut Health-Care Benefits for Nearly 2,000 Employees [Hideous corporate behavior putting 2,000 families at greater health and bankruptcy risk.]

09.18 US healthcare is booming. So why do one in five workers live in poverty?

09.18 Greta Thunberg to Congress: ‘You’re not trying hard enough. Sorry’

09.17 'The silenced': meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump

09.17 Democrats have long blamed 'culture' for black poverty. Joe Biden is no exception

09.17 The Guardian view on the future of work: share out the benefits

09.16 America is stuck with Brett Kavanaugh

09.16 Sanders Responds to Biden's Praise for Pharma Companies: 'Their Behavior Is Literally Killing People Every Day'

09.15 'Americans are waking up': two thirds say climate crisis must be addressed

09.15 The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

09.14 The U.S. Health-Care System Found a Way to Make Peanuts Cost $4,200

09.14 California church leaders 'used homeless as forced labour' [A coarsening of public behavior...]

09.14 Taco Bell customer who was treating homeless group to meals says she was kicked out of restaurant [A coarsening of public behavior...]

09.14 We Asked Prosecutors if Health Insurance Companies Care About Fraud. They Laughed at Us.

09.14 Elizabeth Warren’s Health Care Plan Still Leaves a Lot of Unanswered Questions

09.14 Medicare for All Would Cut Poverty by Over 20 Percent

Justice Matters

09.14 NY AG uncovers $1 billion in Sackler family wire transfers amid opioid probe: report

09.12 'Decades of Progress Are at Stake' as Trump Reaches 150 Lifetime Judicial Appointments and Right-Wing Court Takeover Accelerates

09.12 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR ISSUES SCATHING DISSENT TO SUPREME COURT'S ASYLUM RULE DECISION: THE STAKES 'COULD NOT BE HIGHER'

09.11 Former top FEMA officials arrested on fraud charges in Puerto Rico

09.09 The great break-up of Big Tech is finally beginning [Facebook and Google effectuate the evil of data analytics]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

09.12 The insidious ideology pushing us towards a Brexit cliff-edge

09.12 Boeing's travails show what's wrong with modern capitalism

International & Futurism

09.18 If the world ran on sun, it wouldn’t fight over oil [1:45 video]

09.17 ONLY A GREEN NEW DEAL CAN DOUSE THE FIRES OF ECO-FASCISM

09.17 The Guardian view on Modi’s 100 days: trashing lives and the constitution

09.17 The Observer view on the threat posed to Israel by another Benjamin Netanyahu victory

09.17 For Palestinians, Israel’s elections promise nothing but defeat

09.17 I now look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure

09.17 The world ignored the warning signs – and now the Middle East is on the brink

09.16 EXCLUSIVE: Iranian drones launched from Iraq carried out attacks on Saudi oil plants

09.16 'We walk with our heads high': the women who care for country by fighting fire with fire

09.16 Inheritance tax would be scrapped by the Brexit party – good news for the very rich

09.16 Tunisian exit polls suggest shock victory for political outsiders

Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: