Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What is best for Glenwood?

Four years ago I wrote a post about UNCG coming to Glenwood. Now it looks like that post is going to finally become a reality, and in the midst of sadness about our home (which falls right in the proposed expansion area), comes the questions of what is really best for my neighborhood? If my home were not on the chopping block, what would I think of this proposed plan? (Our home would be on the bottom right corner of green space on page 11 of 18 in the linked document, a proposed park).

Change seems inevitable for our neighborhood – it’s too close to UNCG and property values are priced right for quick buy-ups. Right now our neighborhood is already zoned for apartments/mixed use/multifamily buildings to be put up in the area that UNCG is thinking of using. If UNCG does not develop this, what we will likely get is a hodge-podge of development that will not serve the neighborhood in any way, and the neighborhood will not have any say in how things are built. With UNCG, we have the chance to have a voice in how things go. I think that it will beautify a part of the neighborhood that needs work (in much of the proposed area). I also think that will draw more home-owners into Glenwood, which would be a good thing.

The down side is that the poor who live in this area (and in the areas within a few blocks of the development) will no longer be able to afford to live there, as property values will shoot up. I don’t know if there is time/energy available to secure a number of properties which will be affordable and available to the poor. I hope that UNCG will be persuaded to care about those members of its University community who are often unseen, yet essential, the men and women who work in the physical plant and in the cafeteria. For them to be able to live in a neighborhood like Glenwood, connected to the university, would be wonderful, and it would be a credit to UNCG to think proactively about how to make this happen.