I enthusiastically support the conversion of the defunct Edgewater Medical Center into a public park.
I understand that an attractive and well maintained park will increase property values in our community, which may also increase my property taxes accordingly. However, the additional benefits are far more than monetary. Read on and learn how this park can work to our advantage.
Top reasons why we should have a park in our neighborhood:
We deserve it and we are the key stakeholders in this decision. It's now or never! Once a new project is built on this land there will never be an opportunity for the community to reclaim this land for public use. Tax increment financing (TIF) will be used. To tear down this property TIF Financing will be used. These are our future tax dollars. There is no park in the proximity. West Edgewater, or as I hope it will be called EDGEWATER PARK, does not have a park within a mile of this site. This is not at all convenient for our residents. A park will increase our property values by 5% minimum. Open green space matters. Public spaces create and foster a sense of community. Parks reduce crime and promote a healthy lifestyle. Our neighborhood is competing with other neighborhoods for residents. The park is the sustainable and green thing to do. our neighborhood suffers storm water damage every year. The foundation of the EMC site will make a terrific French Drain returning thousands of gallons of storm water back to the environment. The foreign bank and its developers do not live here. If we want the park, we need to campaign for it.
In the last several weeks, I have had conversations with many residents in our community about the potential interest in a park in place of the Edgewater Medical Center. So we decided to gauge the interest in a more comprehensive way by establishing an online petition. In a little over a week, 339 residents have signed this petition, many of which have also posted additional comments about why they support a public park on this site which they understand will require, at least in part, their tax dollars to support.
We believe that the results of this petition and associated comments form a consensus of the community that far exceeds any other outreach that has been conducted by the WEAR Board or the Ward operation over the past decade. We ask that this subject be the basis for discussions at the meeting with our community on Wednesday, April 21st.
In short, in consideration of the interests of the community, it should be clear to all parties involved that a public park covering more than 75% of the site, would be the strong preference of the community. Furthermore, we believe that the assumption that the area adjacent to Ashland Avenue should be developed as homes or businesses is not supported by the residents of the area.
We are fortunate to have residents skilled in building community consensus and developing park plans. With some modest support from the City of Chicago we believe we can create an economically viable option for the city and the land owner that creates a public space suitable to be the cornerstone of our community.
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