Day 40: Dead People On a Dead End Street
So tonight I got an invite from my running mate Detric Leggett and aldermanic candidate at large Antwan Lang to join them for a gathering at the Hudson Hill Community Center in West Savannah, off Bay, a neighborhood with roots that are a hundred years old.
The purpose of the meeting was for residents to challenge the City's rezoning of their bedroom community into light industrial, which apparently happened without their knowledge or consent, and has made it possible for a funeral home to move into the residential Smart Street, where the Johnsons have made their home for 43 years. The Johnsons don't want dead people on their dead end street, and appeared at the meeting to confront the property owner and some poor girl from the Metropolitan Planning Commission, who had no idea what she was in for.
Alderman Van Johnson attempted to emcee the event and what began as a question-and-answer session quickly devolved into a number of private conversations that elevated into shouting matches. Most of the complaints to follow had nothing to do with zoning or funeral homes, and any attempt Johnson made to restore order was countered with charges that he was trying to shut down the process.
The mortician who owns the property on Smart Street is now looking to sell to another light industrial concern with the need for a facility in a residential neighborhood on the west side. Oh, there's a long list of other approved businesses that would make just as objectionable alternatives, such as animal hospitals and horse stables. One such alternative is nightclubs, and the owner has a good mind to sell his building on Smart Street to a group that wants to open a strip joint.
That should make for a very entertaining meeting next month at the Hudson Hill Community Center.