This information is shared from The Government Street Collaborative. The LHDNO Board is waiting for feedback from residents and the June 12 Community Meeting with Councilman Manzie to gain more information, and have taken no position at this time. We do have questions. Please attend the June 12 meeting, 5:30 p.m., at The Pillars corner of Houston and Government Streets.
ISSUE: OPERATING A 24/7 EMERGENCY SHELTER AT 1805 GOVERNMENT STREET,
target population and needs and services as yet unspecified
AT THIS TIME, THE GOVERNMENT STREET COLLABORATIVE OPPOSES APPROVAL OF THIS PROPOSAL BASED ON THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS:
The Planning Commission is charged by law with guiding development that is harmonious to the surrounding area, and which protects the health, safety, and quality of life of area citizens. The City Council is charged with insuring that harmonious development through its legislative approval authority. We present the following evidence about Government Street Frontage and the neighborhoods and historic districts surrounding:
Government Street Collaborative analysis of public records reveal that, based on 2017 records and on-the-ground surveying, the development from Broad to the cannon is approximately 44% family residential, less than 10% B2 or B3 business, and approximately 25% to 30% low impact "nine to five" weekday B1 buffer business. After hours and on weekends and holidays all but retail business serving local neighbors is closed, turning the neighborhood over to the families living here.
This “9 to 5 model” for non-retail business development on Government Street frontage allows the type of mixed use that can serve both residential families and economic business development, and this mixed use is the model the GSC supports for Government Street.
3. We ask the Planning Commission to make a decision that insures our historic and residential districts remain the neighborhoods we invested in and raise our families in, providing an elevated Quality of Life.
4. The proposed development is not appropriate in this residential location and is not harmonious with Government Street frontage development in these neighborhoods.
*Family residential backs up to this property.
*This site is two blocks from and on the routing for the location of weekly fall high school football games and other long standing city athletic events.
*Family residential comprises all of the property to the north across Gov’t. St. and to the east for a half mile except for St Johns Church and The Pillars.
*This 24/7 facility will operate at night and on weekends and this 24/7 operation is a major concern of residents since current B1 "buffer" businesses are low impact and are 9 to 5, M-F, and return the area to residents for neighorhood recreation otherwise.
*The types of possible support services HTC enumerated at the May 17 Planning meeting were off site, provided by institutions and agencies not usually offering after hours or weekend activities. Further, the range of possible services were unfocused and appeared hopeful but unplanned, based on the best of
intentions but little concrete capacity or contractual arrangement.
*The neighbors justifiably ask “Who, What, When, Where, and most importantly,
HOW?” When neighbors listen to a need to rehabilitate drug users and
other ex-offenders, a need to teach the clients to re-enter society and daily
life, a need to feed, clothe, house, career train, daily life train, provide
psychological or medical or counseling treatment and services, educate and
re-educate, provide assistances ranging from financial to faith, from
mentors to medications, it is no wonder there is doubt this will be an efficient
and sustainable and harmonious development in our midst, 24 hours a day.
*The nature of Government Street by virtue of its sheer length and routing is one
of providing for moving the population into and out of the core business
district. However, this function has never excluded R1 homes, and other great cities honor their historic boulevards by preserving historic structures and neighborhoods while structuring non-residential uses and public spaces which are harmonious, contribute to Quality of Life for existing
residents, and thereby promote resident property values.
*This site is two parcels away from the historic Pillars property which serves as a beautiful area Events site, and most of those events occur after hours and on week-ends when structured activities in other parts of the city are not available to shelter residents to be housed at 1805 Gov’t. St.
*Holiday Transitional Center has not presented a resume' showing experience operating this type of endeavor, and we have serious concerns about an operational model that will succeed or sustainable funding to provide a quality program.
*There are currently faith-based services to area homeless at several churches fronting Government Street in this area.
*While they said they wanted to work with the neighborhood, Holiday Transitional Center did not reach out to area neighbors or group leaders to provide information until contacted after the May 17th hold over. While they are certainly not required to do so, it may have been a more positive approach. When asked to delay their application until neighborhood group leaders could meet with HTC, they went forward with the application but stated they would meet in the future.
*The Quality of Life in the residential section of Government Street (from Broad to Pinehill) has been degraded over the years by inappropriate development, but its enduring beauty and character have continued to draw families to the R1 properties offered. There are currently about half a dozen properties listed at the half- million dollar or more price point. This is good for sellers, good for realtors, good for Government Street, and good for the City of Mobile. These residential property values cannot be maintained if inappropriate uses continue to filter in that are not harmonious with R1 or low impact mixed use.
*The City and area private donors are investing in beautification improvements to Memorial Park located facing this proposed site, promising a renewed gateway for our area and a renewed interest in
higher end commercial development in the Loop area—some of which we are already seeing succeed in examples ranging from Ruth’s Chris to LUSH Home and
Garden or lunch spots like Regina’s or Mellow Mushroom, and home support retail and services such as Bay Gourmet, Sherwin Williams and The Paint Store, to name a few. This holds great promise as a successful traditional neighborhood center serving our area and generating tax income for the city.
*While permitted in a B1 zone, but only with Planning and City Council special approval,
the category and definition of “emergency shelter” is broad and unspecified and therefore cannot insure operation that is harmonious with existing uses on the ground in our area. The first obligation of the Planning Commission and City Council is to the neighborhood and its residents as they exist.
We ask the Planning Commission and City Council to honor residents who have continued to bring personal development and investment to Government Street, even during lean years, by approving ONLY appropriate and harmonious development for our historic, family neighborhoods.
PLAN TO ATTEND A JUNE 12 COMMUNITY MEETING AT THE PILLARS ON GOVERNMENT STREET AT THE CANNON, 5:30 p.m., WITH OUR COUNCILMAN, CITY REPRESENTATIVES and REPRESENTATIVES FROM HOLIDAY TRANSITIONAL CENTER.
Also, the new owners of the old church property on the corner of Houston and Government Streets, Guyette Roofing, have indicated they will be at this community meeting to meet neighbors.
The Government Street Collaborative will organize this meeting to allow a reasonable time for the sharing of questions and answers which can be addressed by those present. A moderator or moderators will request courtesy from all at all times. Questions will be directed only to Councilman Manzie or to city representative(s) or the moderator(s), who will then refer questions appropriately to others who may answer, and who will eliminate repetitions of the same questions. Time limits will be enforced. These and any other ground rules needed to facilitate a successful and courteous event will be presented at the meeting.