City Just Loves Riding Roughshod Over Merchants’

Dear Editor:
Many Gilroy citizens over the years have volunteered to be on
committees to suggest improving old Gilroy.
Dear Editor:

Many Gilroy citizens over the years have volunteered to be on committees to suggest improving old Gilroy.

From what I am told any suggestions they have made about the downtown, Church Street and older neighborhoods have fallen on deaf ears at City Hall, because the planning staff knows best.

The city has a new planning staff person who has been in Gilroy for two years and has a vision for downtown the “Diamond in the Rough.” The City Council, in its infinite wisdom, rubber stamped the whole project including the parking lot trade with the Garlic Festival. Maybe there is some extra money in the budget to get the planning staff, council, city administrator seeing-eye dogs. Their vision is very blurred.

Imagine a vision of affordable housing built right next to the railroad tracks. When the trains go through during the day and the middle of the night, those condos will be shaking and the noise will be horrendous. When the first condos are done, maybe the developer will allow the planning staff and city council a couple of nights, so they can sympathize with the new condo owners when they purchase and live in their affordable housing.

The parking and noise will be the condo owner’s problem, not the city’s or developer’s problem. The parking is the big issue downtown. When the condos are built on the 100-space parking lot, then where are the people going to park? The downtown parking garage is a long way off.

And the coming medical center was the real vision, too. Too bad the city cannot help the doctor who owns the building find a more suitable sight for his clinic. The parking that was suppose go in back of his building is now being turned into a lunch room for his staff. City Council candidate Peter Arellano said that the employees of the medical center would be eating at restaurants downtown (his big selling point). It is like the downtown merchants don’t have voice with the city. The city just loves riding roughshod over downtown merchants. Why doesn’t the city have a real plan for downtown instead of the patchwork quilt plan that they have right now?

Naomi Steinmetz Murphy, Gilroy

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