Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kensington Terrace: Mixed Feelings

I am so sick. The kind of sick where you suppress the cough because you know how much it's going to hurt, where you become aware of just how many cells make up your skin because each of them aches. I came home from work at noon today and after eating some pozole, I fell asleep and stayed that way for 8 hours. Being home during the day has got me thinking about this whole Kensington Terrace project that is almost certainly going to be constructed directly across the street from my house.

I got some new literature about the project this past weekend. What is startling about that is that I have lived in my apartment eight and a half years. Eight and a half! And these pricks have the freaking nerve to send a "show your support for Kensington Terrace" letter addressed to a person who doesn't exist...My college boyfriend's first name and my last name...a name he used on a magazine subscription when he lived with me the first 6 months back in 1999. I vote every election; I receive newletters from my Councilmember and my Congresswoman, and Kensington Terrace can't find me. No wonder the ONLY notification I've ever received from the project was the day before the Ken-Tal Planning Committee voted (despite the claim that residents within 300 feet were notified as far back as 2006.)

The thing about it is that while obviously personally I dread two years of construction and trucks and hammering and a rerouted path home, I'm not totally against the idea of having more businesses in my vicinity. The literature promises to bring in locally owned businesses, like a bakery, a pharmacy, a gourmet mini store like Whole Foods on a smaller scale (supposedly), and some sort of yogurt, ice cream, or smoothie type business. Today, feeling so terribly sick, on the one hand how cool would it be to go across the street to a pharmacy to get some NyQuil, then head next door for perhaps a Jamba Juice or something. Then I have to remember that it's going to take two years for that to happen and I get all bent out of shape all over again.

When the apartments next to me underwent a condo conversion, trucks parked in my lot, contruction would start sometimes at 5 or 6 in the morning (which is illegal, by the way) and when I'd get home, I'd find some new form of disaster in my yard, like the time they sand blasted the wall, leaving a thin white dust on my patio furniture and lightly dusted around my entire kitchen because they didn't have the courtesy to warn me that I should close my windows. I had to complain to the developers and realtors repeatedly for damage to my personal property.

So here I am again, faced with developers who don't give a shit what I think. Is that because I'm only a renter and not an owner? Is it because they'll find a way to get rid of my block after they're done across the street? I don't know. But I'm a little pissed.

1 comment:

Lazy John said...

I'm approaching this as Benjamin the donkey approached all the pigs' changes in George Orwell's "Animal Farm." I will believe that locally-owned businesses will end up in the KT when I see it. I am also in favor of reurbanization, but it needs to be done right. Southern California has a history of not holding developers accountable for re-doing infrastructures to accommodate growth.