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stella1751
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Any Zoning or Road Construction Professionals?

I live on a court. It's a very short side street off Casper's major thoroughfare/business district. I and my neighbors turned our backs for a minute, and an Enterprise Rent-A-Car was ensconced at the end next to the major thoroughfare. Stupid of us.

Now there is a petition to open another business, rezoning the next residence in line. Even worse, Enterprise Rent-A-Car wants the residence next to it rezoned for parking. This time we're not turning our backs.

I need to learn about road construction. Based upon appearance, I would say that our residential street is constructed much more casually than commercial streets. It's like a mixture of asphalt and pebbles. It's also kind of lumpy and seems slightly rounded to the gutters.

Does anyone out there know anything about constructing roads for weight-bearing, traffic volume, speed, width, durability, and maintenance? There's got to be a huge difference between a residential street and one designed for commercial fronting.

Rumor has it that this is the beginning of the end, that the entire street is secretly destined for commercial use, one residence at a time. I think if I can convince the city of Casper that it will prove too costly to rezone, the developers will leave us alone. Am I wrong?

Oh. Does anyone know what you call those traffic volume measuring devices, the ones that look like a garden hose stretched across the road?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Charlie MV
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Stella, in my money making life I am a real estate developer. First, let me say that every town and city is different. This is a matter that would better be addressed to your town representatives. If enough of you organize and just show up to meetings there is a good chance that you'll get their attention.

To try to answer some of your questions...

Road construction wont matter as much as current zoning. Current zoning can be changed if enough people want the change but existing businesses will be grandfathered in place. Are you certain that more people oppose this development than support it?

As a commercial landlord, I would consider Enterprise to be a blue chip tenant. They would have carefully checked out the zoning prior to signing a lease because the blue chips [think UPS Store, Hallmark, Mr Goodwrench, Firestone etc] usually sign very long leases. many are as long as 20 or 30 years. I'd kill to rent to one of these companies.

You may be successful in lobbying your local leaders to change the zoning but Enterprise will probably be grandfathered in.

Regarding convincing the city of Casper that rezoning is too expensive, I think you're pushing the rock uphill. Business means jobs, rent revenue and tax revenue. Your best bet to curtail it is organizing enough residents to put the fear of reelection in your town leader's hearts.

If developers smell money, they will probably win.

Your best bet is to make the businesses behave in a neighborhood friendly way. One of my properties is in what the city calls a "ped-scape district. In other words, they want to encourage locals to walk to the businesses when possible. When we renovated, we were required to install oversize sidewalks, new curbs and driveway entrances and spend a fortune on landscaping.

It worked well in the end for me. Although I spent huge amounts of money I was able to allow restaurants, churches and a small school on the property since the ped-scape district allowed fewer parking places.

In short, city hall is hard to fight without large numbers of motivated voters. An impassioned speech wont do it.

The device you're asking about is a simple traffic counter. The city, county or state should be able to help you there depending on who owns the road. My properties abut all three types of roads. I also have a property that the railroad claims to have right of way on. So far, my lawyer has been successful in keeping them at bay but let me tell you. Frank and Jessie James are heroes in my book for standing up to the railroads and the murderous thugs who represented them both then and now.

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digitS'
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Do you live on a cul-de-sac, Stella? I can't understand how that would be suitable for piecemeal commercial development!

I am no engineer but I think you might be talking about [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavement_%28material%29#Bituminous_Surface_Treatment_.28BST.29.BST paving[/URL]. It is fairly common and no, it can't handle heavy traffic.

It seems to me that you may be able to organize your neighbors and go to your council and ask that if your short street is going commercial that a developer only be allowed to purchase ALL of the properties at once. Messing things up one at a time could so lower the quality of life for the remaining residents that it might feel like you are living on the borders of HELL!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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stella1751
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Excellent points, both of you. Charlie, we are all R-2 zoned except for the two lots at the end, on a major thoroughfare. Ace Hardware, an excellent neighbor, is on one side. There was an empty lot on the other when I moved in 5 years ago.

A leasing company/construction company bought the empty lot last year, posting a sign that said it would build to suit. Like you, when Enterprise leased that C-2 property and requested a rezoning of the R-2 property adjacent to it, we didn't foresee a problem and did not contest it.

There's a line from the movie Independence Day that now comes to mind whenever my eyes fall upon the Enterprise sign. Liberal paraphrase: "They are like locusts, devouring everything before them, consuming all the natural resources and then moving on. They don't want to colonize us; they want to exterminate us."

This is Enterprise to a T. Suddenly our little 11-residence street became a parking lot for employees, customer, and overflow vehicles. Residents quit receiving trash pickup because cars would park in front of their cans. My front garden got no western sun because of SUV's parking in front of it. My heart is pounding, just remembering. Blue Chip? Blue something, a word inappropriate to this forum.

Neighbor after neighbor complained. Nothing was done. Then I became involved in a pretty regular correspondence with the Code Enforcement Superintendant and the Planning and Zoning Commissioner. The cars all disappeared after my last email. I don't know what Enterprise did with them, but you can bet they are waiting and watching, locusts perched atop a decaying log, looking for the right opportunity to pounce. Rumor had it that they were in negotiations with both of the R-2 properties closest to them at that end of the street.

The other shoe dropped three days ago. The property Enterprise has been covertly eying, an R-2 it hopes to buy so it can raze the building and turn it into a parking lot, was petitioned for a C-2 rezoning for, of all things, a fudge shop. Naturally, Enterprise will wait to see how this turns out. If the zoning petition passes, it will take the more expensive R-2 property on the other side of the street. If the zoning petition fails, it will turn its sights back on it.

I suspect the fudge shop petition will be denied. I am composing an email notifying the Planning and Zoning Commissioner that it's bad public relations to open a candy store on a street where 30% of the residences house someone who has been convicted of a sexual offense against a minor or a juvenile. (I'm not one of them.)

Steve, bless your heart for the educated guess on the paving! That will give me a start on that portion of my research.

No, we aren't on a cul-de-sac, drat it all. Two of the biggest streets in town intersect roughly 500 feet from me. University Court opens onto one of them. At the other end is a street that ends at University Courth and opens onto the other biggest street.

As far as neighbors organizing, well, my neighbors appear to be paralyzed. Until I undertook the battle, nothing was being done. I thought they were taking care of it, which is why I didn't become anxious about Enterprise. I mean, three of them have lived on this street for over 50 years. One of those three is living in the house his grandfather built. They are close to catatonic.

Tomorrow I finish painting my No Parking signs I am making for each resident. They are not enforceable, but I believe they will serve as a deterrent. Tomorrow I also finish and jet off my email about the registered sex offenders. The following day, I will begin painting my protest sign: U. C. RAPE! (University Court Residents Against the Proliferation of Enterprise). When that is done, I plan to take a chair, my knitting, my gray hair, and my sign down to a legal site as close to Enterprise as possible and sit there through both spates of rush-hour traffic.

My neighbors don't want this. In fact, I am confident the one closest to me to the south will go out shooting. However, they aren't equipped to deal with it. I am, but it's one project after another after another.

Thanks for the advice. You've given me much to think about.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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tomf
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Once that sort of development gets in you are going to get more. I am sorry for you. Park all you cars on the street so they do not get the use of the parking spaces. :twisted: :evil: 8) :wink:

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stella1751
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Marlingardener wrote:Stella,
After seeing what the city council, code enforcement and zoning board did to the small Texas town we lived in previously, my advice would be to sell out and get out, now. Most council members would sell the graveyard their grandparents are buried in if a developer wanted it.
If you still want to fight this all on your lonesome, get publicity--call newspapers, get someone to put it on Twitter and other "social networks" and make it colorful enough and controversial enough to attract the attention of a local TV station (if there is a new reporter, get hold of him/her since they need to make a name for themselves and haven't yet been intimidated by the local big-wigs).
Bless you, and start thinking about moving to the country.
There are ten houses on the street (used to be twelve before Enterprise came and the other owner put theirs up for sale to commercial buyers). Of these ten, I would say that five would sell in a heartbeat. They are seeing dollar signs that I am convinced are a mirage. This is not a desirable location because access to it is restricted by traffic. During rush hour traffic, you cannot make a left turn in or out of one end, and you've got a serious wait ahead of you to do it at the other end.

There are two who are uncommitted, sitting back and waiting for the situation to work itself out.

Three of us are hard core refusals. One of them, my neighbor immediately to my right, is the grandson of the man who used to own this entire court. David's parents inherited the house from him; David inherited it from his parents. His grandfather built the house he lives in. The other day ago, David threw some ideas at me that called to mind some of the more revolutionary organizations of the late 60's and early 70's. He was serious.

On his other side is the other hold-out, a brother/sister combo. Rosie and Bennie's parents moved here 50 years ago, when she was 12 or 13. She says only death will make her move. Lately I have noticed that this is taking a serious toll on Rosie's health.

I'm stubborn. Yes, I could give up. I only have a 5-year stake in my little home. However, I have a strong antipathy toward the abuse of power. I will stand with David and Rosie. I think it's the right thing to do.

I teach research writing and rhetoric (the art of effective communication). If anyone can stop the bulldozers, it's I. Today I began a newsletter, the one I plan to distribute when I man my one-person station for my protest.

An Enterprise employee parked across the street from me today. I left the following note on her windshield:
  • "Congratulations! Your blatant disregard for the 'life, health, liberty, or possessions' (Locke) of another has earned you a complimentary copy of the inaugural issue of Full Court Press, a newsletter dedicated to reporting the University Court news.

    "Delight your friends by showing them your license plate and a detailed description of your car in print in our regular column 'Rudesbies.' Be amazed by our expert’s savvy interpretation of the typical rudesbie character. Learn why people become suddenly quiet when you enter a room and why your invitations to weekend outings are invariably 'lost in the mail.'

    "Park here or in front of any R-2 zoned University Court property on Wednesday to receive your complimentary issue!"
I agree, Marlingardener, about the power of the media. I am starting small, taking care I don't incur legal retribution, but I strive to make a bigger difference with every passing day. I honestly believe that if I educate myself to things like zoning and paving and whatever and keep fighting, this battle can be won. If I'm wrong, David and Rosie will pay dearly.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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A story of encouragement: when DH and I lived in Berkeley, the "People's Republic of Berkeley" as some in the Bay Area call it, we actually WON a zoning/development argument with our next-door neighbor to the immediate north.

We lived on a four-lane divided north/south traffic arterial. These arterials absorb more traffic than they should in Berkeley, b/c in the '70s most of the residential streets had barricades put up so that normal traffic couldn't pass through. It makes navigating the streets of Berkeley in a car, truck, or--YES--emergency vehicle time-consuming. Your gasp of astonishment is correct: response time in emergencies, I am told, was significantly affected for at least twelve MONTHS after the barricades were installed (this was before I moved out here).

The house north of us was originally an SFR. The owner was an absentee landlord who owned a jewelry store a few blocks south and who evidently felt that he wasn't receiving a high enough return on his rental property. So, in the mid-'80s, he tore out his cypress and plum trees :x and started to dig everything in his back yard (which adjoined our north property line) up.

We called the Planning/Zoning Board to ask whether there was some emergency going on. We were told, "No; why?" and described what we were seeing. (We had thought that maybe there was something related to the possible installation of a traffic light at the intersection.)

Work stopped and yellow notices appeared. I read the notices carefully and called the phone number listed at the city for "further information." A copy of both his plans and the Zoning regulations pertinent to residential properties were mailed to me.

I read the regs carefully and calculated the square footage of both his lot and the projected expansion. I found an error. :D The only person I told was DH. We went to the Planning Board hearing, as written on the notice, and did whatever was required to have a minute or two on the floor.

Next-door Landlord was so certain of his situation that he didn't even show up. THAT is how small our chances seemed.

I waited for our turn; I had dressed the part of "unsophisticated young homeowner new to California and just out of college," b/c at the time, that's what I was. I also failed to suppress my natural southern accent--something which I do out here almost unconsciously. It's interesting that, even in a supposedly "liberal and enlightened" place like Berkeley, a southern accent takes everyone off-guard: they seem to think that you don't have an education....

So there I was, new homeowner (DH was the experienced homeowner, not I) with a southern accent, being "confused" in public. (Heck, if people are going to assume you're dumb b/c you have a southern accent, why not use it to your own advantage?)

"I know how to do arithmetic," I said, "and it looks like Mr. G's plans will end up about ___ square feet. It looks like his lot is ___ square feet, from the plans. But when I look at Section ___ of the regulations, it says that only 55% of the lot [or whatever it was; not much] can be covered by development. When I divide the square feet in the house + the expansion by the square feet in the lot, I get something like 74%." All of this, looking earnestly at my notes. Then, looking directly at the chairman of the Planning Board: "Was there an exception for Mr. G that I missed on the notice?"

I waited. And waited. The silence was interesting. The chairman asked the other commissioners which of them had been the liaison for the project. No one seemed to know anything about it. :roll: What a surprise. At last, one of them, after much shuffling of paper, allowed as to how he had been the assigned commissioner, but had "delegated responsibility" to an inspector; said inspector, of course, not being present.

Well. The owner of the lot--Mr. G--was not present. The relevant inspector was not present. We, the objectors, were present. According to their *own* regulations, the Planning Board had to find for us on the basis of fact. :twisted: Mr. G had to reduce his expansion. He cheated, of course, but he still didn't get to build within 2 feet of the property line! :shock:

So it *can* be done. Individuals *can* win, although the odds are stacked against them. They were then, and they still are now.

But I thought my successful experience might be encouraging.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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stella1751
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Cynthia, you and I think much alike. I, however, chose to reveal my proposed arguments through a series of "innocent" questions. Today was a City Council work session; the real meeting will be on June 28. Assuming that a work session meant they would be discussing the upcoming agenda for the meeting, I sent the following email to the head of the planning and zoning commission this morning. (Notice how I saved my biggest argument for the last.)

  • C_____,

    I have begun my research for my section of the opposition to this petition for a zone change, and I have several questions. If you could steer me in the right direction, I can find my own answers and will try not to be too much of a nuisance.

    1. Into what street classification does University Court presently fall: primary arterial, secondary arterial, collector, or local?
    2. Does traffic volume play a role in street classification? What other factors are considered?
    3. Where would I find information on construction-related regulations for roads of University Court's classification: paving types, width, vehicle volume, average speed, maintenance, and weight-bearing capabilities? (I'm assuming the other classifications would also be addressed in the literature.)
    4. Where would I find information on the number of police-response and EMT-response traffic collision calls for the E 2nd and Beverly intersection for both 2005 and 2010?
    5. I am confident our Ward 2 City Council representatives collected coverage traffic volume data for both University Ct and the east side of E 1st prior to approving Enterprise Rent-A-Car's petition; can that data be released to us?
    6. Can a coverage traffic volume collection be conducted again, prior to the June 28 meeting, and the results released to University Court residents? We would like a 7-day collection.
    7. Can we receive the latest data regarding traffic volume on west-bound E 2nd and south-bound Beverly? Again, I believe this coverage collection was likely requested by our Ward 2 City Council representatives prior to approving Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
    8. Can traffic volume data for the above be collected again before the June 28 meeting, with placement adjacent to Baily's Ace Hardware (west-bound E. 2nd) and roughly 50' north of the south-bound E 2nd/Beverly intersection? Again, 7 days should be sufficient for our purposes.
    9. What might be the anticipated cost for replacing 300' of residential street to meet commercial standards, should the traffic volume and vehicle size/weight mandate an alteration in construction?
    10. What is Casper's practice when confronted with the need to replace a residential street that lacks the necessary width to satisfy an upgrade to one of the commercial classifications?
    11. What might be the anticipated cost for installing a traffic light on E 1st and Beverly?
    12. In terms of arterial roadways, is there a restriction or recommendation on how close traffic lights should be to one another, particularly on an artery like Beverly, where the south-bound left-turn lane onto E 2nd from Beverly backs up to E. 1st during rush hour traffic and well beyond it on snowy days?
    13. What might be the anticipated cost for changing the intersection of University Ct and E. 1st from a 1-way stop to a 3-way stop?
    14. What classification of road enjoys snow removal in Casper?
    15. Are there annual cost-per-mile statistics available for snow removal?
    16. What classification determines street lighting needs?
    17. What is the anticipated yearly city revenue from this proposed new business?
    18. Can you recommend a readable layman's text that addresses the concepts of urban environmental determinism, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), defensible space, and natural territorial reinforcement?
    19. How can I determine the nature of the proposed business? I heard "fudge shop" but decided that had to be wrong. It doesn't seem rational that the City of Casper would contemplate opening a candy store on a street where 30% of the residences house someone who has been convicted of a sexual offense involving a minor or a juvenile. I would think so doing would prove a media and, potentially, legal nightmare, given notification legalities. Can you tell me what type business is proposed for 152 University Court?

    I don't expect you to have answers to all of these questions. If you can guide me toward the right source material, I am confident I can find the answers. You can also pass this email on to anyone you think might be able to help.

    I appreciate your assistance!
So far, I have received no response. There are so very many thinly veiled hints regarding a failure to do their homework that I am confident they will know what I am about. However, by phrasing my entire argument in the form of "innocent" questions, I was able to make my argument prior to the meeting, something I think is frowned upon by the politicos 8)

I think I can win this one; I really do. Then I will need to deal with Enterprise's expansion plans. Sigh. One battle at a time. Perhaps the war will be mine. I used Steve's "BST paving" in another email sent this morning to the Code Enforcement Superintendant. In fact, now that I think of it, I may have plaiarized him completely: "I believe it is currently constructed of BST paving, but I'm no expert."

My scruples are gone. Poof!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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digitS'
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It is great that you are getting "the bit between your teeth" on this, Stella. Some of your neighbors will likely be very hopeful that you can turn this thing around. They may not be people who are willing to take a very active role right now but that may change in the future. Involving them might take some of the weight off your shoulders later and broaden your resources right away.

(I've never done any organizing like this so you have to consider the source on everything I say.)

There must be some sort of center for the neighborhood - a community center, church, maybe a restaurant or doughnut shop, that sort of thing. Perhaps you can engage your neighbors with some ideas in that setting. You may find them forming ranks in support.

My family once bought a piece of property and I purchased a share in an associated community water system. There were 20 tracts of acreage but, I suppose none of the buyers had any real idea of the potential of the system to provide water. After only 10 residences were built and occupied, we found that the system was fairly well maxed out.

We knew that something had to be done and got together to hire an attorney to present our case to the owner of the water system. Faced with a room full of concerned clients with their attorney, he just blamed his underlings and committed himself to 10 residences on the system rather than 20!

Of course, we were preparing ourselves for much worse results and realized that we were on the road to bringing a lawsuit against the owner of the water system. That was totally off the table after 1 small organizational step. Still, we all understood what road we were on just by gathering together and showing up once.

Steve
edited to add: That's right, you know this country, Stella! We were in the Belmont district near the south end of Pend Oreille Lake, not far from Bayview. There is probably no place on this aquifer where wells must be deeper than right there! The depth of that well was the limiting factor and we were all in a lot of trouble. The water system owner knew that we just could not sit on our hands while continuing to live there. Pull up stakes or gain some sort of satisfaction - those were the residents' only alternatives.
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

cynthia_h
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stella1751 wrote:Cynthia, you and I think much alike. I, however, chose to reveal my proposed arguments through a series of "innocent" questions. Today was a City Council work session; the real meeting will be on June 28. Assuming that a work session meant they would be discussing the upcoming agenda for the meeting, I sent the following email to the head of the planning and zoning commission this morning. (Notice how I saved my biggest argument for the last.)

[snip]

So far, I have received no response. There are so very many thinly veiled hints regarding a failure to do their homework that I am confident they will know what I am about. However, by phrasing my entire argument in the form of "innocent" questions, I was able to make my argument prior to the meeting, something I think is frowned upon by the politicos 8)
I don't need to lay out the nature of constructing an argument for you, of all people! :lol: Oh, definitely, #19 needs to be in the final spot. Oh, my, yes. I also liked #14: very shrewd.

You're in a completely different situation from the one DH and I were in way back when. We had one property owner who owned a residential property. So far as we could tell, he was simply building/expanding the dwelling on his lot--HUGELY and disproportionately to the size of the lot, and looming over us. But there was only one opponent.

When dealing with: a public street which may (or may not, if you win) be changing zoning classifications; private residences which may, post-Kelo (Kelo v. City of New London [CT]), be subject to eminent domain; and multiple property owners; to say nothing of outside developers and their money, discretion is the better part of being run over and becoming roadkill.

Let the city authorities know that they're being watched, that citizens are alert to their shenanigans. Also alert the media: local newspaper if there's a "city" reporter, maybe TV/radio, perhaps a city e-newsletter or other means of communication. Don't overlook the possibility of starting a website yourself--actually, this may be one aspect where a neighbor with relevant skills could help in a meaningful but low-profile way.

I'm staggered 1) that there is such a high number of convicted sexual offenders against minors on so small a street, and 2) that a fudge, ice-cream, or similar shop is being considered for this location--if such, of course :wink: is indeed the case. The mind boggles.

Go get 'em.

Cynthia

Charlie MV
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wow, I was going to pop by and see what's happening.

Stella, if the business is there you are out of luck. If you try to be a lone ranger, you will not be taken seriously. It looks to me like you are making this needlessly complicated.

If enough people want zoning change you can influence elected officials with enough people. The people MUST show up for meetings.

I'll try to read all of this but wow did you ever get a bunch of responses. I do know that you can influence parking on your street but that's hard to do if you don't have the numbers. In other words, it's easier to restrict parking if a neighborhood wants it but more difficult if it's 12 residents.

I'll try to find some time to read all of this in the next few days.

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stella1751
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cynthia_h wrote:I'm staggered 1) that there is such a high number of convicted sexual offenders against minors on so small a street, and 2) that a fudge, ice-cream, or similar shop is being considered for this location--if such, of course :wink: is indeed the case. The mind boggles.
Want to hear something truly ironic? The person who heads the pro-development coalition is the one responsible for two of the three convicted sex offenders. He owns 105 and 101. Shortly after I moved in, he moved a sex offender in to 101. The fellow works for him, so he is renting him the property.

When the previous resident across the street from me moved out and the current resident (another sex offender) inherited a substantial amount of money from his mother, 105 suggested he buy the property. That resident was also an employee of 105 prior to the inheritance.

Now 105, which is at the tail end of the property and the farthest away from any potential development, is confident he can sit back and, as his wife told 111, "sell our properties for four times what they are worth." Like I said, given the traffic problems already present, I don't see that ever happening. Instead, I see residents being forced out, one at a time, as their environment becomes increasingly stressful.

So, 105 has given me my greatest argument against development. He foisted the sex offenders on us; now he will reap the rewards of his actions.

Yes, it really, really is a fudge shop. I watched Rosie speak to the owners of the property being petitioned for rezoning. They told her, from the horse's mouth, that it is a fudge shop from Shoshoni. I kind of enjoy the irony of that, too.

I'm not proud of playing the sex offender card. That was unkind of me. We have been very tolerant of these people, who can find few places to reside in our city. However, I will deal as nastily as the next person when it comes to saving my, David, and Rosie's homes.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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stella1751 wrote:
Yes, it really, really is a fudge shop. I watched Rosie speak to the owners of the property being petitioned for rezoning. They told her, from the horse's mouth, that it is a fudge shop from Shoshoni. I kind of enjoy the irony of that, too.

I'm not proud of playing the sex offender card.
The people who live on your street now are not the people who will always live there. Someone with children will move in, someone whose children will want to walk back and forth to the fudge shop. Unchaperoned. I mean, it's less than a block away?! These convicted offenders will look at those kids in the shop, kids going to and from the shop, like fish in a barrel.

It's not a matter of being "proud" or "not proud" of making this argument. It's a matter of protecting kids. There are certain kinds of adults kids just should *not* have to deal with. Once their proclivities are known and adjudicated through the courts--as is the case with these three--and they reside in legal dwellings, it's the responsibility of adults and (in my view) officialdom not to put children in harm's way.

You are making a responsible argument.

Cynthia

Charlie MV
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Stella, in just a few sentences tell us what you want.

If I received your letter full of questions, my eyes would glaze over by the third line.

Fact: If Enterprise is there and open for business you wont be able to make them go away.

Fact: If you don't have sufficiently large numbers of people involved in your cause, you cant bend elected officials in the direction you want to go.

I know that I have to submit architectural plans to the planning commission as well as the zoning board before I can do much of anything. My property is in Charlotte. They have cut the inspection budget so deeply that in lieu of inspectors they have an excessively oppressive approval process. Once a project is approved, you can't change the most minute detail. Once a project is finished, neither love, money people, protests nor god can change it.

I hope you're not tilting at windmills.

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digitS'
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Maybe not "god" with a small "g" . . .

I have been up and down some roads for so many years that I certainly see "time" making changes. First of all, styles change and regulations seem to swing one way or the other. Personally, I kind of like this "eclectic" style that seems to be popular these days but, if I live so long, I have an idea that it will look really crappy in about 20 years to just about everybody because of the shoddy materials they are using!

I know a person who as city councilman had the most ridiculous office building built! The building had features that none of the other buildings in the neighborhood or city have and they look like they are just there to make things cheaper for him. He cut corners on another building until he was sued by the state for making changes to the river without bothering to apply for permits. It turned out that it didn't cost him anything. He moved up from city council and is now county commissioner! Seems there are some rules for some people and not for others.

Time also works against a building. I am dismayed at the number of buildings that seem to be designed to be obsolete in 20 years! Must have something to do with taxes. I watched one supermarket move 3 times in 40 years, each time to a new building of about the same size! Building #1 was torn down so that building #3 could be built in its place. The 2nd building sits empty, derelict and u g l y and there have been no changes to it in a good 5 years now. What a joy it must be to the neighbors who have homes that will still be fully useful after 100 years!

Commerce is one thing but corporations are much larger and more powerful than individual homeowners. If the privileged and powerful are going to grind our lives beneath their heels - some of us will join together to put a stop to it.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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stella1751
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So. Tuesday, I wrote our first protest newsletter, copied it off, and hand-delivered a copy to every residence and business on the street. Halfway through my walk, my right leg began to go numb and refused to bear my weight. I finished my route by walking six steps, leaning on something, and then walking six more steps. The pain was excrutiating. It took me over half an hour to walk 300'.

The next morning, my leg had ballooned to twice its normal size. I spent all day yesterday at Wyoming Medical Center. I had developed a blood clot, likely because stress makes blood stickier, contributing to the development of blood clots.

The doctors wanted to hospitalize me, but hospitalization is not an option for gardeners and single-person dog owners. I was allowed to go home if I promised to give myself two shots in the stomach twice a day. I just gave myself this morning's shots. I don't like it. It is not fun.

This morning I emailed the head of the planning and zoning commission. I told her that many of us were elderly, that this ailment could have led (could still lead) to a stroke, pulmonary embolism, or congestive heart failure. I reminded her that most of us are of an advanced age, and asked her whether our lives were worth the revenue this business may generate.

I am in pain. The body has to dissolve the clot. There's no saying when that will happen. I think Casper is mean.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Kisal
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Stella, I know this is off topic, but I urge you to find someone among your fellow dog lovers, who will step in if you have to be hospitalized. You can't always control things like that. What if you had had a heart attack or stroke?

You need to have someone to call on who will take care of your furbabies in an emergency situation. I'm fortunate to have a retired vet tech as one of my next-door neighbors. She usually sees me being taken out to the ambulance (as far as I'm concerned, alerting her to my being whisked off to the hospital is the only reason the ambulances have sirens and flashing lights ... :lol: ) and just comes over and takes care of my pups. It's nice not to have to worry about them being safe when I can't be at home. Seriously, if you're an older person, like myself, then this is very important. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Charlie MV
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Stella, I agree with Kisal but would like to add one thing. This isn't worth your health and life.

I don't know what you may have tried as far as dealing directly with Enterprise but it is a business that survives on good will. I have always tried to be a problem solver. Over the years tenants get into squabbles. Some seem valid to me. Some don't. It really doesn't matter. I still try to work out a solution. Maybe the manager of enterprise listened to the parking complaints and put a stop to the parking problem. I dunno.

I've also dealt with issues between my business tenants and local residents. Once a residential neighbor complained about the loud music at 8 AM on Sunday from a church I rented to The pastor was willing to move his loud youth oriented service to 6PM. It just does me no good as a developer not to try to keep the neighborhood happy.

When we were young we always bought in the combat zone of the city, organized, renovated and made lots of money when we sold. It was dangerous but we were young and stupid. I'm too old to fight that fight now.

I am very sad and sorry that this is happening to you. Please take care of yourself

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stella1751
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Kisal wrote:Stella, I know this is off topic, but I urge you to find someone among your fellow dog lovers, who will step in if you have to be hospitalized. You can't always control things like that. What if you had had a heart attack or stroke?
I thought about this after the ultrasound. The sunny, cheerful tech found a place on my leg that put a frown on her face. I asked her the diagnosis. She said she couldn't tell me, and she hustled out to show the doctors what she had found. While she was gone, I decided that it wasn't a blood clot after all, that I had a mass of cancerous tumors in my leg. I was trying to determine Zeke's disposition when she returned with the real news.

Dempsey's gone. Only 13-year-old Zeke is left. On Monday, he bit the mailman and drew blood. He is only alive today because I have the sweetest mailman alive, a mailman whose family will be receiving all of my extra produce this year :) You are right, though. Should something happen to me, I need to have instructions for Zeke to be put down. I can't take any chances that he will hurt someone else, and I can't stand the thought of him winding back up in a kill shelter, not at his age.
Charlie MV wrote:I don't know what you may have tried as far as dealing directly with Enterprise but it is a business that survives on good will.
The one other business on this street, Ace Hardware, is located across from Enterprise. When Rosie sent her brother to buy me some paint for my protest signs, he chatted with the manager, telling him what the paint was for. Ace Hardware refused to let him pay. Instead of bringing me the two 4-oz cans I requested, Ace Hardware filled his arms with two 1-gallon cans, two quarts, a paint can opener and a mess of paint sticks. They told him to come back if we needed anything else.

Turns out that Enterprise used its lot for customer parking until Ace finally walked across the street and asked Enterprise to quit it.
Marlingardener wrote:Why do you have to carry the burden alone? Someone else in the neighborhood should step up and help you, if only to deliver the newsletters. If they won't, then they don't deserve your dedication and effort in saving THEIR neighborhood.
I've never had a strong faith in an omnipotent being, but this blood clot has generated many a coincidence that give rise to questions. I'm a tough person, always have been, the stereotypical North Dakota farm woman. Some people need to be taken care of, but I'm not one of them. However, this clot has really laid me low. It hurts, and I feel like I have the world's largest Bratwurst attached to my hip.

I asked a neighbor to drive me to the hospital, but I told her not to wait. I knew I would be there a long time. So, I'm struggling down the hall with a borrowed walker, averaging half-a-mile an hour. I see a bunch of staff wheeling empty wheelchairs past me, a whole procession of 'em. I'm looking at them longingly, and from out of nowhere emerges my cousin's wife, who works in medical records at the hospital. She had had to take a late lunch, so she hit that particular hallway at the same time I did. Before I know it, I'm in a wheelchair and being wheeled from doctor to doctor to doctor. My cousin's wife even took me home.

Then, this morning, I finally had the strength to check my email. Rosie emailed the mayor in my absence, and he emailed her back straightaway, telling her he had been startled to see an Enterprise open up in that location and assuring her he would look into it.

Even the blood clot is serendipitous, well, if I don't die, that is. "Old Woman Felled by City Council's Poor Decisions" has a media-worthy sound to it.

There's some very odd coincidences going on up here. Destiny is a ticklish concept. It may well be that this isn't just about homes, that its about what Cynthia said about the sex offenders and vulnerable children. Maybe by jumping through hoops and killing myself, I am saving a life.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Kisal
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I just had to say that this really gave me a good chuckle. :lol:
Old Woman Felled by City Council's Poor Decisions
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

cynthia_h
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Stella, I developed a clot in my leg *during* knee-replacement surgery last November. That was on a Monday afternoon. However, not until Thursday, Nov. 11, did my surgeon (otherwise excellent...) order an ultrasound! They hustled me over to the ultrasound dept. and, oh yes, the tech *could have* told me directly--she has the authority--but no, she had to tell her department head, who told the surgeon, who told the charge nurse, who told the floor nurse (mine), who confirmed it for me. :x

As to how long they can take to dissolve: I used a combination of traditional medications and New Age/"I'm absolutely not interested in having this cr*p in my body" visualization ("this clot will dissolve into the ocean of my bloodstream...this clot will dissolve..."). I like to think that the medications did the work and that the "dissolve" imagery kept it gone.

Time frame: clot developed on November 8. Ultrasound on November 11. Abdominal shots in hospital, 10 more days after discharge at home. To which was added oral medications for three months, taken once a day (bedtime in my case). Three months, I was told, is a standard minimum regimen for these meds. The shots and the oral meds overlapped briefly, until my blood levels showed that the oral meds had reached a therapeutic level to work against the clot. There are dietary cautions when taking blood thinners, and of course any hard blows or falls are Right. Out. (This is evidently difficult on practitioners of martial arts especially.) I had a follow-up ultrasound in early March--I could have scheduled it in mid-February, but that was Vergil's crisis period--and the early March ultrasound confirmed that the clot was gone.

Gotta say that a clot is the classic case of wanting something to go away cell by cell, gradually and silently.

As opposed, say, to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where we would be happy for them to fold their tents, metaphorically speaking, and leave town all of a sudden in the dark of night. :lol:

Best wishes on all fronts.

Cynthia

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stella1751
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There have been some extremely odd developments lately:
  • 1. I had written the planning and zoning commissioner about the fudge shop. She wrote back and told me that I was wrong, that this was a general commercial petition for any old business. I told her we needed to see the petition. She delayed until I asked all the residents to ask her for a copy of the petition, one at a time. We finally received a copy of the petition. It was for a fudge & gift shop. The mayor told Rosie that it is for Enterprise parking, that they plan to build a "nice" wall between us and them. Was this always planned? Was the fudge and gift shop petition a ruse to get Enterprise in there? Or did my mention of the sex offenders cause the fudge-and-gift-shop realtor to change her plans midstream and instead offer the property to Enterprise?

    2. 112, who is across the street from me, received a visit from the developer, who made him an offer on his property. He is convinced that the developer wants him out of there because he contacted Enterprise corporate offices once. (If he tells me one more time that he is responsible for the change in our environment because of this telephone call, I will have a pulmonary embolism.) I suspect the developer does want him out of there, not for his activism, but for his notoriety. He is the worst of our sex offenders, still on the list and still residing in his home. One of the other three got off the list; the other was asked to answer to Federal charges and won't be back until December.

    3. The traffic on our street has dwindled to pre-Enterprise levels. I am convinced that Enterprise is directing customers to its old site or somewhere else because I asked for a coverage traffic volume collection. It wants to make its impact as small as possible during this crucial final week.
I wish I had more business savvy. Why did the planning and zoning commissioner lie to me? Why does the developer want 112 out of there? Where have the Enterprise customers gone?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

cynthia_h
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This doesn't have much to do with "business savvy," IMHO. This has to do with backroom dealing.

Has anyone been able to contact local TV/newspaper to get to the bottom of this? These dealings will continue unless/until exposed to the light of day. :x

How are you doing with the leg clots? Elevating leg, yes?

Cynthia



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