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IS BIG BLOCK UGLY DEVELOPMENT THE FUTURE FOR SHOREWOOD'S RIVERFRONT ?

Environment Ecology, Housing, Residential

DEAR READERS
 
I RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS LETTER ADDRESSED TO ALL OF SHOREWOOD AND FIND THE CONTENT INTERESTING .......... AFTER YOU READ IT, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS.  
 
THANKS DAVE 
 
Dear Shorewood friends,
 
Some of you may have heard about a proposal to tear down the Riverbrook Restaurant and the Sherburn place apartments (where I live) to put in a senior living center.
 
As a resident of the apartments and a professional in the field of research and environmental education,  I find SO MANY problems with the development from just about every angle.
 
 1) The developers are not considering any green design.  They are tearing down perfectly good buildings and bringing in all new materials.
 
2) The developer  when asked about green building showed no interest and gave misinformation to the zoning committee. Specifically, she said LEED Certification, (the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability) meant nothing more than slapping a green roof on the building. 
 
3) Green design is not only environmentally friendly, but it is functional and considers the use of the building and the residents that live there. 
 
 4 ) The developer is advertising river views from the upper floors but assured me through some magic of landscaping that you won't see the building from the river
 
 5 ) It's a HUGE 4-story, cookie-cutter box  building from a national chain of senior living centers in which the owners are facing lawsuits for fraud and neglect  (Sunrise Senior Living) .   This is so against what I feel are the strengths of Shorewood - walkable neighborhoods with locally owned businesses.  If senior living is truly needed, it would be easier to swallow this change if this were the future of sustainable design in senior living, designed by Kubala-Washatko, something Shorewood could be proud of.  This is a valuable piece of real estate, and the change they create will be around for a long time.  (And I think the building is hideous)
 
6) We will lose one of the only pockets of diversity in Shorewood where there is relatively affordable living (Sherburn Apartments) and sit-down dining (Riverbrook).  I ate brunch at the Riverbrook on Saturday and was floored by how packed the place was and by the degree of diversity I observed.
 
7) There are currently 50 people at Sherburn apartments, including families, some elderly, and people that have lived there almost thirty years.  At any time these people could get 30 days notice to leave according to the owner who has had terrible communication (virtually none) with the residents or even the building manager. 
 
The truth is, for me this will be an inconvenience - I've moved around a lot.  For others this will be a life upheaval.
 
The project is still in its preliminary stages, but if nothing is done, it will undoubtedly move forward.  I urge anyone that is available to come to the two meetings this week at the Shorewood Village Hall, located on Murray Avenue, 1/2 block south of Capitol, between the Police/Fire Department building and the Shorewood Public Library.  The meetings will be in the courtroom on the second floor unless there is a large turnout, in which case the meeting will be moved to the basement of the library.  (A large turnout would be nice)
 
Meeting times are:
Monday, December 17th, at 7:30pm
Tuesday, December 18th, at 7:00pm
 
Monday's meeting (tonight) will be a presentation of the proposed development by the developer to the Shorewood Village Board.
Tuesday's meeting will be the Zoning and Planning Committee.  They will be discussing this and other projects under consideration by the Village.
 
Please forward this to friends or anyone else who you feel may have an interest in this project.  These are elected officials making this decision and it's up to us to make sure they represent their constituents over an outside developer.
 
Thank you for your support!
 
Tim Vargo
 

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