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October 1st, 2007:

The Proposed Purser Park vs. Habitat for Humanity

There’s a movement afoot in our neighborhood to build a new green park next to a local school that could desperately use a park– weirdly, it’s the good people at Habitat for Humanity that are holding it back. An example of where sometimes self-interest from enlightened people isn’t enlightened self-interest.

HH has the rights to build on three empty lots next to a school. The group/movement wants that land to create/build a playground/green park for the school next to it. A picture speaks 1000 words (which means a few less I have to write!)

EXISTING CONDITIONS

IMAGINED AFTERWARDS (this is not an architectural drawing, just an idea)

There’s been a lot of wrestling, because the city wants it to happen, but not enough to give HH the concessions it wants on some other properties that it will get in exchange for this.

I’m a supporter of HH, but here they are in the wrong. I think it’s infinitely clear that the best use of the space is as a public park, and that three low income houses can go in another place, to be built by HH. Come on city, Habitat– do the right thing. Take a small hit to make sure that the school and the neighborhood get a nice area. Three families vs. a neighborhood– the greater good is clear in my mind.

The local paper has been covering this, and most of the pro-park stuff is at http://www.purserpark.org. Not sure where the city or HH side is being told. And I’d like to learn– I’m willing to admit I’m wrong– but based on the photo, I don’t see how.