Please let your Greensboro City Council Member know that the you don't approve of the additional overlay restrictions that are being proposed for the Central Business District without the consent of a majority of the property owners and business owners. This is only for Downtown. It is unfair, unless it is applied to all areas of the city. And, not many of us want that.
DGI and others have prepared a 103-page document on design and other building restrictions for the CB. It is another instance of unfair treatment of the businesses operating downtown, especially small independent merchants and property owners.
Recently, the City Council approved selling a public parking lot to a developer who will put up a building that is out of character with the area. Plus, they gave him several perks and incentives that the rest of us didn't get when we moved into downtown and contributed to its revitalization.
This is not the first time that city property has been sold underhandedly to a developer without knowledge of the public and without an open bid process.
We, the people, can change the way business-as-usual is done in Greensboro. It might be too late for this stupid project; but, we should know what is happening in downtown and in other areas of the city that is unfair and sometimes illegal.
When one of our current city council members said that the businesses downtown want free parking and everyone else has to provide parking for their customers, she was wrong. She apparently didn't know that every bit of property in the Central Business District pays an additional 5% tax which is supposed to be used to help the downtown businesses. So, we do pay for parking and other amenities. (UPDATE: I was informed last night by a reliable source that the extra downtown tax is actually 9%)
And, downtown property owners are not the only ones being treated unfairly. It happens too often in all areas of the city.
Downtown needs your help. If you love downtown and you want open, fair government in Greensboro, do something. Find out what your present council person is doing and what his/her opponent in the next election plans to do. Go to forums, meetings, read the blogs and the news papers. And then, vote for a better Greensboro government.