Cedar Street Meeting,
I attended a meetings today about a neighborhood located close to downtown that is being called The Cedar Street Area. It stretches north from Friendly Ave to Battleground Ave. Bellemeade Street Runs down the center of the area from Eugene Street on the east to the train tracks on the west. This area is sometimes referred to as the Bellemeade District.
The area which has some houses that date to the 1800s has been in decline for several years and much of the property has been sorely neglected. Some of the area reminds me of the old fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The vines and bushes grew up and covered the beautiful castle. Of course there are no beautiful castles in the area, but there are many period houses that should be cleaned up and should be protected. The sidewalks are overgrown and cracked, and some of the rental property in the area is notoriously sub-standard.
With the trend of moving closer to work and closer to the downtowns of our cities, this neighborhood is one of the keys to developing a nice transitional neighborhood that will act as a buffer between the business district and our wonderfully preserved neighborhoods surrounding downtown.
Our city government has stepped in and is holding meetings with residents and other stake holders in the area to make decisions about the future of this area. These meetings are open to anyone who cares to attend and put in his/her 2-cents worth.
At the first meeting, city employees took notes on a big chart. At this second meeting, the staff presented a list of goals for the neighborhood from the suggestions gleaned from the first meeting.
I was impressed. The city staff gave a short presentation and then asked everyone present their impression of the goals. The next step will be how to implement the goals in a way that will be acceptable to property owners, residents, surrounding neighborhoods, investors and other decision makers in the city. I suspect that this will be the hard part, but it can be done. There was time for lots of one-to-one conversation during 'refreshment time'. It was a good meeting.
There is another meeting tonight 6:30 to 8 at the Greensboro Womens Club House, 223 N. Edgeworth Street. The public is invited.
1. Stabilize, enhance and complement existing character and fabric of the neighborhood.
2. Encourage appropriate future development of a variety of uses in the neighborhood.
3. Create a pedestrian-friendly and resident-friendly environment.
4. Improve the perception and visibility of the area as a downtown neighborhood.
What do you think? Better yet, go to the meeting and tell the city staff what you think. What do you want the area to be in 5 or 10 years?