Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Potters - er - the Webbs - Win

Is anyone really surprised that the Webbs got their permit to destroy a vital portion of downtown?

MediaCzech sat in on the meeting, which ran into extra innings. Joe broke the news in his usual low-key style:

The Webbs did work very hard to put this deal together. They spent years acquiring properties and permissions. They began designing Centrepointe months before springing it on the public, and they managed to keep it under the radar. Well, under the public radar. Apparently, the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Downtown Development Authority have known about it since at least 2006.

And really, their allies argue, now that Mia's has relocated and Buster's and The Dame are closed, what is there to save? Some run-down historic buildings? No one's using them any more, right? No one, including the Webbs or Rosenbergs, was keeping them to code. Why shouldn't some spiffy new building go up?

How about... because the building's design violates the city guidelines for the courthouse area?
How about... because our Fire Department couldn't reach the top floors of the proposed structure? Safety hazard, anyone?
How about... because a structure spread out into Phoenix Park would impede downtown traffic, already a sore spot with Lexingtonians?

What the board should have said: Yes, you have gone through the legal channels of getting ownerships and permissions. And now that you and your buddies have finished shutting down the block, you can tear it down. But the design you have submitted is unacceptable. Come up with something that fits downtown and its needs. You created many of those needs in your quest to replace anything non-Webb downtown; now it's time to fill the gap with appropriate buildings.

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