To the Editor:
On Monday, it is possible that the Bowling Green Council will propose changes to, and act on the PR Zoning proposal affecting historic residential properties immediately adjacent to downtown.
At the May 17 public hearing which took place at the Veterans Memorial Building in City Park, with regard to changing the zoning code proposed by the city, one thing was obvious.
Too many questions remain unanswered or unexplored. At stake is the future appearance of Bowling Green and whether historic downtown properties are preserved and protected or left to the vagaries of short sighted rapacious economic forces. Currently there is a grossly incomplete picture of current use and misuse of properties within the target area.
Residents of Bowling Green east of Main Street wax poetic on the negative effects of their community of saturated student housing. Some of these effects can be viewed starting to impact properties west of Main Street. Just walk each block around downtown.
Especially troublesome is the lack of enforcement of the existing zoning code requirements. Given the extensive rental housing in the city to young individuals it is questionable if the community is courting future liability, perception and or legal, for the failure to inspect and certify the safety ( adequate means of egress in a fire, adequate parking, compliance with the court order) and health conditions of extensive temporary housing for transients in our community. Self inspection by property owners only works if a mechanism for verification exists, with serious consequences following for improper behavior. Trust but verify.
It will be telling to see if the short-sighted, rapacious economic forces lead to the destruction over time by neglect, or if this precious historic housing resource, this jewel within BG, is protected and restored.
David J. Neuendorff