BR Town Council Speech May 14, 2019, by Lynda Lasseter (not verbatim as delivered)
My name is Lynda Lasseter. My husband and I live at 559 Morningside Drive 6 months of the year. Our home has been in my family for 45 years. Our home is not a vacation home; it is our second home.
First, a few questions:
How do you know that this proposal isn’t a sham and that the developer’s ultimate aim isn’t to convert the rooms into condo units, as he had previously proposed?
Is there any guarantee that the developer will not run out of money in the middle of construction?
Has a determination been made of whether firetrucks could get positioned to adequately fight fire at the property, or would it be in danger of burning down as did the Best Cellar?
There are several points I want to make:
First, this developer is attempting to skirt the building codes by claiming that the front of the building would be on Morningside Drive. Clearly, the de facto front of the building faces US221. Surely the only effective signage would face 221, not Morningside Drive. And if the loading dock is at the back of the hotel, and the loading dock is on Rainny Street, then the front of the hotel must be on 221 ! And I don’t see signage on this scale model . Surely the signage will be on 221. It’s hard to imagine the hotel’s being advertised to cars passing on Mornigside Drive ! So I would argue that the limit on the building height must be determined starting from the elevation of 221.
Second, I don’t believe the commercial trucks can safely navigate the turn from Morningside Drive onto Rainey Street to make deliveries.
Third, damage to the roadways is a certainty. Already, at the top end of the circle that Morningside Drive makes, construction vehicles have broken off the edge of the road, and trucks keep driving off the road into the drainage ditch. You yourselves have like seen this happen on the other local streets.
Fourth, I understand that drivers leaving the hotel parking lot would be directed onto Morningside Drive toward 221. Many of them would want to turn left onto 221; but during peak traffic hours, that would be problematic because of the well-known backup of traffic on 221. Once drivers realize this, they will leave the property using other routes, which means ignoring signs saying that only left turns are allowed. Drivers will then use residential neighborhood streets. “No right turn” instructions will not be enforceable, and so Sophocles wisely said, “What you cannot enforce, do not command.”
Finally, the project is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The proposed development is bordered on 2 sides by single family homes. The visual impact will leave folks with the impression that it looks out of place, particularly given it’s proximity to the historic district. And if it does not fit…It has to git !!
I would ask those who are present and who are opposed to this project to please stand.