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When rezoning of buildings means removal of people

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When rezoning of buildings means removal of people

     Then Moses summoned Joshua. He said to him with all Israel watching, “Be strong. Take courage. You will enter the land with this people, this land that God promised their ancestors that he’d give them.”—-The Message (Deuteronomy 31:7)

 By Bobby R. Henry, Sr. 

There comes a time when we can no longer “conduct business as usual.” Uncontrollable things, events and outcomes begin to weigh heavily on your emotions, spirit and on the essence of who you really are.

The times when we wanted our expressions and our actions to not be considered weird, bazaar and downright strange no longer matters.

Complexities, like boogie men, con artists and demons have turned into commissioners and developers, who try to con and buy you out or scare people from their neighborhoods. When scare tactics don’t work they resort back to divide and conquer… the people.

I was at a meeting on last week, a meeting that I might add, I was not formerly invited and nor was most of the community. It was stated by the presenter that she had to inform four people and one of the four was a suggested ad on.  Be that as it may, it was a meeting that was supposed to be a community meeting to discuss a zoning amendment that would allow six story buildings on the corners of Sistrunk and Ninth Avenue (old Bass Brothers store).

The following message should have been where people of the area could have access to it: Notice of public participation meeting regarding rezoning of property located at 900 NW 6th Street and the request for site plan approval for office and retail use in a building with a height not to exceeded 65’. However, a group of concern residence made a gallant effort and got people to the meeting.

For all practical purposes, if allowed, all four corners of that area would be beyond the height restrictions allowed for that area. If this amendment passes it will start a trend that all developers would push for and eventually push the residents of the area out.

Perhaps this why the number of formerly invited guess was very limited.

People need to come out and oppose the six- story amendment no matter who is building. It’s them today, but it will be another developer tomorrow……

Every threat to pushing folk out of their homes and off their land is a threat against true democracy. Poor or rich, Black or white, whatever sexual preference, we all have a right to due process and to be heard, not preferably handpicked to keep others who oppose the views of the developers out.

These very important meetings concerning the reconstruction and perhaps the removal of any restrictions should be opened to all concerned. For those who want to be apart from a community of high rise condominiums and the lifestyles that come with them which, are unaffordable for the existing residents should be welcomed to these meetings and maybe the developers can begin to work together for inclusion instead of fighting for and promoting separation.

This behavior will not go away if ignored. People who want to take our neighborhood and turn it into what they want and not what we need will not vanish as quickly as the dark does when light appears.

It has to be a renewed awakening, one that’s not all ecstasy. It will not come without some discomfort and will not be the velvety, silky rose pedal softness that we have been made to believe. No, sometimes things make you want to drop it like its molten hot lava just spewed from an active volcano. But it is yours, shaped and molded by years of love and struggles. It was meant to be kept and preserved, not stolen or given away.

“Dear God in the name of Jesus, please give us the strength to hold on and not give up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

YOU NEED US JUST AS MUCH AS WE NEED YOU

 

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