Owners lose with low-income development
August 1, 2012
While I have supported Habitat for Humanity, I just cannot support its current plan to build a cluster of 12 new low-income homes in the center of Keator Grove.
When its plans were announced in the paper, neighbors asked for more information. One Habitat board member, Carolyn Meadowcroft, refused to meet, stating that Habitat had not made plans, yet its board president, Scott Gilbert, said that he had been working on this for two years and that Habitat finally had the opportunity to obtain land from Alpine Bank through foreclosure.
As a Carbondale resident, I ask Habitat to open its doors to include local community input into its decisions and planning. If it had been working on this for two years, why hasn’t the town or any future neighbors been in on the conversation? Why won’t Habitat meet with us now?
The Roaring Fork Habitat for Humanity website states that it aims to change the living situations for the many families that “live in dangerous, unhealthy housing and struggle each day just to survive.” Is building a new and different, high-density, low-income neighborhood the answer? The practice of many Habitat groups is to go into communities and restore current communities and homes and place new homes within already-existing neighborhoods (i.e., creating diversity and opportunity).
I ask the community to contact the Roaring Fork Habitat for Humanity board members and the president of Alpine Bank to express opposition and concern regarding plans for Keator Grove. Tell them that a new low-income cluster of homes is not good for a community the size of Carbondale – neither our quality of life nor our home values.
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Tell them that we love Carbondale as a diverse community, that we don’t want to see an “opportunity by foreclosure” to build a new low-income neighborhood overtaking an already small development.
Finally, I ask Alpine Bank to reconsider the sale of this property in the heart of Keator Grove and the future of our community. You said it yourself, Mr. President of Alpine Bank, that you wouldn’t want your own home values affected by a development like the one proposed. Please don’t do that to us.