Gaining a voice in redevelopment

Gaining a voice in redevelopment

Gaining a voice
in redevelopment

While nothing is certain, the residents of Marine Terrace, Ocean Terrace and Seaview Avenue have unquestionably improved their situation by speaking with a unified voice about the pending redevelopment of their properties.

By getting together under the banner of the MTOTSA alliance, the residents may not ultimately save their neighborhood as it is currently constituted, but they have gained at least a small role in the redevelopment process.

The three-block area where their homes lie is part of the Beachfront North Phase II redevelopment zone, and a proposal for it from developer Matzel and Mumford is expected within the next two months.

City officials have sat down with the residents twice in the last week to listen to their reasons why the area should now be excluded from the zone, and residents say the last meeting was more productive than the first.

To their credit the residents have shown that they understand what the city is trying to do, and rather than stand in the way, they want to be part of the process.

Assuredly the area’s residents’ first preference is to keep their neighborhood as it now stands, but the possibility of compromise is not off the table.

If both sides continue these discussions in good faith — and that includes the city acknowledging that the area is certainly not what reasonable people have in mind when they think of a blighted area, this process could even prove beneficial for other parts of the city that will be affected by the redevelopment process.

The most unfortunate thing about what is happening with the MTOTSA area residents now is that it did not happen sooner.

There are displaced residents likely to see what is happening with this phase of the redevelopment process and ask, why not me?

The voice of the group is certainly being heard more clearly than that of any individual.