Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Progress on problem property in Easton

Easton Redevelopment Authority pitched a proposal to City Council Tuesday to turn over ownership of a problem property on Chidsey Street and ignore the wishes of some neighborhood residents who want the three-unit dwelling demolished.

Executive Director Barbara Kowitz, who also heads the city's Planning and Economic Development Department, said the best alternative is to get the property back on the tax rolls.

Although residents on the narrow, one-way street overshadowed by Route 22 would prefer additional parking or open space, Kowitz said neither option meets the city's goals.

A parking lot doesn't make sense, she said, because there's no city-wide plan to create parking areas in crowded neighborhoods.

She said there's also no resources to maintain or patrol them, and meters would not cover the cost because parking would be limited to 8 to 10 spaces.

As far as creating a park, Kowitz reminded City Council that consultants raised concerns about the city's existing small parks. The $34,600 study Kowitz referenced recommended the city consider selling or re-using the eight smallest ''pocket'' parks, which are the size of single family home lots.

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