Thomas Soules, Livermore
I venture to say that if a vote were taken today, 90 % of the people of Livermore would oppose placing huge Eden Housing residential buildings behind the small shops on First Street.
Please, city council, listen to your constituency. We are not a small fringe group that doesn’t care about low-income housing. We want the housing where it can do the most good and not destroy the character, desirability and functionality of the city downtown.
Typically, a small city’s downtown is reserved for shops, retail, museums, parks, churches, etc., that bring people downtown, people essential to the vitality of a city. These huge residential buildings will dissuade people from shopping (in or) visiting downtown.
Further, we need far more affordable housing units and more square footage per unit than can be achieved in this small space. Who will the current plan help – a few families who need housing as quickly as possible and want to be close to downtown? Certainly, that is good.
However, building the housing north of Railroad Avenue could help many more families. This is still very close to downtown.
Apparently, the city already owns some of the land and likely far more space is available for immediate purchase than is on the Lucky site. Purchasing land might delay construction, but if the city was really intent on doing this the delay should not be excessive.
This would also improve the area north of Railroad Avenue and create a public space across the street, which can be utilized by the residents of the housing units and the general public for a park, recreation, additional parking, etc., improving the quality of life for all. I think everyone would support it.
Driving by the three- and four-story housing units being built on the previous Groth Brother’s site, turning down Veteran’s Way and imagining similar humongous buildings with canyons behind the small shops on First makes me very sad. Now, we learn that the situation is worse than first proposed.
Eden Housing said the building sizes must be increased 42 %. Now, a three-story building runs the entire available length from L Street, ~ 400 feet, with a still higher four-story building behind abutting Railroad Avenue and also running the entire length. The original small space between buildings is decreased 32 %.
This is insane.