On Sept. 21, the Hastings Board of Trustees will continue their discussion on rezoning Warburton Avenue from Straub Auto to Nodine Street, the MR-O Zone. Each zone has an affect on the rest of the village. Zoning is the most powerful tool we have to shape the future of the village. There are many complex issues at play and we ask that you attend the meeting to ask questions and voice your concerns.
One trustee, the chair of the zoning board, a village planner, and the village attorney crafted the proposed change without once meeting with anyone who lives in this zone or in the village at large. A previous MR-O rezoning involved a full committee and many months of deliberation; this is how it should have been done this time.
We were told that the rezoning was being done to increase affordable housing units and provide for “aging-in-place,” both benefits for the village. It seems there is no longer talk about social equity or age accommodations since the rezone will not accomplish any of these goals. The vast majority of units will be market rate (units here can rent at $7,500 per month) and multi-story units with distant on-street parking will not be used by an aging population.
We were told that the rezoning would make development “more fair,” but it seems that the benefits will only be for outside developers by allowing an increase in density in what is already the densest zone in the village. Currently there are 156 units of housing in this short stretch; if built out, there could be another 126 units.
There are already 200 units of housing being proposed for the Graham School property and 25+/- units for Riverview Manor. The affect of this construction has not been factored into the rezone.
At stake is increased school population and demand on water, sewer, electric, DPW, police, fire department, and ambulance service. There will be increased traffic and parking issues that will affect the downtown, Quarry Park, and train. Increased density of building will lead to increased storm water runoff. These issues have not been adequately addressed.
The rezoning should be part of the soon-to-be-updated Comprehensive Plan, where all these issues can be addressed as they will affect the entire village. We urge you to attend the public meeting.