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August 12, 2005

Comments

Tony

Your house is as old as mine and thats a good thing! Nothing like "true" 6X10 lumber.
It does sound like people are paying attention and they will have it written out to protect the homeowners. But to call an empty lot with weeds blight or not having storm drains-oh the mercy!
Nice fish!

Craig

Your house is a veritable island in that neighborhood.

The pond is good for dunking children that are on fire, too!

Adria

I was given to understand that it is perfectly legal for the city to sieze whatever property they deem nessecary in order to improve the blighted area. I hope that it is incorrect information, or that could be bad news for the residents of the the area.

Erica

Eminent Domain allows local governments to sieze property for the purpose of building roads, reservoirs, and other public projects. Recently (June 2005) the Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing a local goverment to sieze property for the purpose of eliminating blight. About half the states are now looking at revising their eminent domain laws to protect homeowners/property owners from having their land siezes and turned over to developers for just this reason.

Wulfgar

If you follow the links in this story you'll find a bit of comfort in Montana's current takings laws. They provide more cover for the property owner than most states do, but still less than I'd like.

The real question at hand is exactly how the blight designation will aid or stand against those laws. I reiterate that I don't believe this a situation where our neighborhood will get "Kelo-ed" out of existance. What is more likely is that shared collective revenue, enhanced by federal dollars, will be used by developers to slowly gentrify the neighborhood out of existance. As several homes come avaliable, realtors and developers will purchase tracts (with subsidized funding) to build more monstrosities like the "Village Downtown", a high density, over-controlled living space. That isn't what this neighborhood is, and hopefully it will never be that very thing.

Strangely, the catch22/irony of this whole thing is that this section of the burg doesn't need intense improvements ... if we don't have such upscale high-density rabbit hutches to support.

Tony

"rabbit hutches" (/snark...!)

Kathie

Just a heads up that there's an actual blog titled This Old Crack House. http://thisoldcrackhouse.blogspot.com/ <---A story of home improvement. ;)

Sheila N

I miss living in the "blight" zone...

Karen

My husband shakes his head when I say:
"I had to move to Montana to meet so many uptown folk."

Martha Stewart would run screaming from my old farmhouse.

DG

I'm no big fan of "The Village" or any similarly bland developments that might pop up in our neighborhood. But I thik we should keep the following in mind:

- My house (and I believe yours too) are outside of the desginated "blight" district, so lets not take too much offense (and risk losing credibility about our bigger concerns in the process).

- Although I have plenty of criticisms about "The Village Dorm-town", let's acknowledge that it is 100% residential, which is a huge improvement over other projects that were proposed for that land over the years.

- The blight designation gives the neighborhood an opportunity to be involved in defining some of the parameters for future growth. Things will probably be more upscale and suburban than any of us would prefer, but maybe we can get something good in return.

I'm hoping for the best.

Wulfgar

DG, thanks for the comment. As I've already indicated, I'm not commited to a judgement, yet. And yes, my house is outside the designated zone, but only by a block. I believe that Broadway wasn't included for two reasons: that would make it problematic for the exsiting businesses, and two, there have been some improvements to Broadway, well beyond the surrounding area.

Still, anything that happens in the Northeast neighborhood, will affect us all. I remain guarded, specifically because Broadway wasn't included in a zone, that you rightly point out, will receive more thorough planning with regard to business use, traffic control and other neighborhood concerns. By scrupiously avoiding anything in the M zoning, the city commission has avoided undertaking the challenge of integrating existing use into planning and developement. It might just be me being cynical here, but that can't bode well.

DG

Agreed -- the City has an embarassing history of being rolled by NE businesses, at the expense of area residents. I'm optimistically (or perhaps naively) hoping that a big project like what's being proposed will give us a chance to hold the planning dept. accountable to its own standards. Most likely we'll be ignored, as usual.

Jack Davis

My wife was born (1949) and raised in Bozeman. I moved to MT in 1975, so I am a newcomer of sorts. We have owned and operated a business at 501 E. Peach for 20 years. The Trades Guild Center was a model develpment when it was built in 1985 and was used by the City of Bozeman as an example of what they hoped others would do. The building offers attractive landscaping, off road parking, secutiry lights that come on at night, wood trim, and other amenities. The building is currently having the roof tiles replaced. The owners met and approved the finest grade of tiles for this project beacuse we are sensitive to our place in the neighboorhood and believed that an attractive tile roof was appropriate. My point is that we have worked very hard over the past 20 years to be good neighbors and coexist with the other homes and businesses in the area.
The most significant change we have seen in this area is a huge increase in traffic, especially large trucks and construction vehicles. Traffic travels at very fast rates of speed in front of our building, sometimes 40+ miles per hour. At least two dogs from our building have been run over on Peach Street between Wallace and Rouse. One of the safety concerns is that there are no sidewalks on the north side of Peach (and several other streets in the area) and we believe that it is just a matter of time before a person is run over and killed on Peach.
We believe that the safety of pedestrians and drivers in the NE area is a major concern. We support a tax district that would generate funds for the building and improvement of sidewalks, streets, intersections (malfunction junction of Peach and Rouse), and night lighting, among other improvements. We believe these improvements can be accompolished and that the neighborhood can also maintain its unique characteristics without wholesale changes having to be made. The Trades Guild Center complex is an example of business and residential being able to coexist in the same area.
Changes in the proposed tax district in NE Bozeman will occur over time one way or the other. The proposed tax district gives people in the area an opportunity to participate in these changes and to maintain the dignity and character of the neighborhood in the process. The tax base will generate funds that will stay in the district for improvements that are badly needed for the safety of our pets, our children, and ourselves.

meredith

The Village Downtown is disgusting. Every time I see it, I like Bozeman a little less. I hate how it looms over the northeast neighborhood (where I used to live, just 6 months ago) like a fat child shoving twinkies in his mouth.

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