Here are some links to writing about the Maguire Proposal:
On a most immediate level, can you imagine having a car dealership across the street — whose biggest day is Saturday — at the same time and place that the Farmer’s Market’s is also having their biggest day? Why wouldn’t we want a tenant for that spot that would fund shuttle buses to and from some existing parking structure rather than to try and cram all that traffic in? Maguire is offering, instead, to build out 5th street.
But I don’t think we want to start looking for ways to make this tenant more acceptable. There are just too many fundamental problems.
The total amount of new paved or built-up surface envisioned for the development is 311,501 sq. ft. As we know, the effects of paving (building) include the development of heat islands, disruption of the hydrologic cycle, and carcinogen runoff.
A full list of the problems exacerbated by car-culture (and truck transpo) is more than I can develop right now, but here’s a beginning:
- a lost sense of community
- visual clutter (cars are idle most of the time: they just sit there taking up the view)
- inflationary pressures on all commodities, including food
- air and water pollution
- ground pollution
- global warming
- oil wars
Maguire expects to sell 2,000 units a year from this location, to contribute $74,000 in property tax to the city, and to pay out $664,500 in new wages. There’s $171,547 in sales tax, too, but that doesn’t — as I understand it — all go straight to the city/town. In any case, budget goals and tax vagaries are hard (for me) to work with, but I think the argument must be made to City Council that we have to stop snapping up the low bar. The cost of supporting car traffic far exceeds the revenues generated by these taxes and these jobs. Any economists out there willing to help a poor poet make this point?
On September 14th, there will be the Public Hearing in which the Public will have a chance to comment to the Planning and Economic Development Committee of Common Council. 6 PM.
Mr. Maguire responds to email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you write to him, please be polite, because he will be polite with you. If only he weren’t in the combustion engine business!