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SOCIALLY BALANCED, WHAT?

Planned development

I'm grateful to the Shorewood Village Planner and to the Board members serving on the committee that is studying the possibilities for upgrading our duplex stock in Shorewood. I'm also grateful to David Tartarowicz for his various studies and commentary, all of this has stimulated my interest.   

They have helped me in trying to come up with some solution. For I was not at all close until I started researching “mixed neighborhoods” as both class mix and age mix type of communities. These were, sometime ago, referred to as socially balanced communities.

I'm sure now, that we should not base this program directly on increasing school enrollment and should give up that aspect of our efforts in our neighborhood upgrading.

I would like those interested in this project  to put me to the task as to whether I'm on the right track. But I think there are probably two areas of concentration that could be linked to our business district and perhaps made part of a future redevelopment plan.

We should seek to keep most, if not all the single family homes in these areas in place and help upgrade them. We may have to consider eliminating lot lines in some places to join some duplexes to create small-type apartments with more bedrooms and general upgrading. We may want to modify some front set backs under this planned development approach as well.

Once we come up with a general plan we can develop a new zoning category to make these plans possible. The creation of apartments will be primarily for the purpose of making some affordable housing possible.

The driving goal shall be a balanced community, including signal family homes of good value along with duplexes and apartments and even some neighborhood service type accommodation. In other words, we shall be developing a mixed age and mixed income community.  But these area must be upgrade in quality and value. 

We can handle the school enrollment concerns as a separate issue.

I don't know that at this point that we have the ultimate solution, but I think the "balanced community" approach is the right one. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't have an answer. I'm sure that some of you will be hesitate about this one. Let's give it some days and perhaps we can improve on it.

We should establish a small design group to see if there are problems that seem too significant to overcome. However, I believe that we have enough thoughtful and enterprising citizens in this community to contribute to a forward looking project of this type.

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