July 23, 2014
In the July 16 edition, Bunny the Newshound asked: “where’s the outrage” as related to yet another tacky used car lot on Independence Blvd. Personally, I AM outraged.
As a neighborhood association president, I have enough tasks and challenges to keep me busy full time. I would imagine that is the case for all the neighborhood presidents who have communities that are, at times, hanging on by a thread. Therefore, I must depend on the Northeast Chamber and CID [Community Improvement District] to preserve and protect Independence Avenue from businesses that blight our community and do nothing to promote Historic Northeast as a unique and trendy place to shop, eat and live. However, landlords can work with existing owners just as we do with homeowners to try to get what is best for the community.
Your publisher, Michael Bushnell and I sat in the same room when the issue of Advance Auto coming to that same location was discussed. We both heard the chamber and Zimmer representatives tell me that if I would give them a list of businesses the neighborhoods wanted to see, they would go out and work to get those businesses. Scarritt and Pendleton both obtained lists from their residents and passed them along. Our last report was in December and we were told it had been too cold to focus on getting business representatives out to consider the area. I hadn’t heard anything else until recently seeing “cheap cars” written on the roof of the old Dairy Queen. I assure you that type of business wasn’t on our list and I know that NEAT is going to ask for an update at the August meeting.
The ineffectiveness of the Independence Avenue Design Revue Committee coupled with the lack of a neighborhood conservation district as what exists in St. Louis makes it difficult as well as time consuming for residents to focus on the task of preserving their sense of community, especially when negative influences and forces surround us. In short, we must choose our battles.
But there is always a bright side…the people who buy cars from all the car lots along the Avenue have plenty of auto parts stores to buy from when those cars break down.