LETTER: Ramblers Replaced by McMansions Makes Longtime Resident 'Very, Very Sad'
Reader David Valentine says the recent trend of demolishing ramblers and building two-story mansions has left him feeling out of place.
I am very, very sad. Edina is my home and has been for 37 years, much of my life. I am 66, single, and now very disillusioned. The city of Edina has decided to allow my retirement and life to explode. I have been on Hankerson Avenue (near city hall, just South off Interlachen) for this whole time, and I have just thoroughly enjoyed my existence here. I have tried to be a good person, a good citizen, help my neighbors and my block, take good care of my house and grounds. I take pride of my house and my city. What makes me now so miserable?
My modest neighborhood of ramblers on small lots is being ripped out and replaced with two story homes which don't fit into the landscape, all by a callused big bully builder who most are familiar with, JMS. I am now surrounded by big houses (I now call my house "the middle"). The newest one going up right now, seven feet from me, it's turned sideways to fit on a fifty foot lot (who would have thought that was allowed)? It will run about ten feet past my back deck, eclipsing any summer retirement privacy. It is ramped up and even runoff water will now flow my direction; almost as I don't even exist, zero consideration. The project manager does not return my phone concerns and even told me "we are going to build a two story on every lot on this neighborhood". Not much communications after that I guess. Not much left to say with that attitude of bully-ism.
When I go to the city planning department I only get that sad face, if it were happening to them, I bet they would be crying. I now realize this is part of the plan, Grandview Development stage one begins right here, right now. This house is not sold, it is speculation (that makes a difference) because you know it is all about money. JMS profits, the city profits with bigger tax base, the existing residents only suffer. It's all about these building bullies, not someone who desires to live in this area and chose the lot. No one cares about us - that were here first. It is all about money. At least Richfield uses eminent domain, I think that is better than playing stupid. At least in Richfield you know where you stand and what the real plan is, not the deception the city sends. And again that sad look from city planning, too much!
I personally have updated my nice rambler of 2,000 sq. feet inside and out. New furnace, air, modern electric, new siding, garage, everything. I was going to retire here, and have until now. Now I feel the doors are open, move out? If you don't think this can happen to you, be warned, I thought that too. "they can't do that to me on a neighbors 50' lot" (mine is 65'). THINK AGAIN FOLKS, NEIGHBORS, EDINA CITIZENS.
I don't have a solution, move my satellite dish (my cost) as the house 12 feet away cuts off my sunlight and my signal from space. What a miserable situation for all as we wait to repair the streets (at our cost) that the building company has damaged/destroyed with their constant flow of heavy machinery as they buzz saw through another once great neighborhood.
It is too late for me, but the city needs to react to our cries for help. A little less coyote worry, a little more concern for us who live here, please. These new homes offer little character with their sameness, front garage, and of course front porch, well just super trendy is all I can say and will look foolish in fifteen years. STOP IT! When dirt removed for the foundation does not fit in the remaining yard, when you need to remove it, truck it away, and then move it back to fill, HEY the yard is too small to support the house, don't you think? Hello! HELLO!!
I am voting to throw the city government out, they should all go. They have lost touch with the pulse, or found a new pulse, money, MONEY! What a serious shame. A little less patting on each others back from the city council and deal with the shattering of your citizens dreams that you promote so well lately. I am devastated and crushed, there is so much of me that I have done to my simple dwelling. That counts for nothing. NOTHING! Quit playing grandeur development games and get to what counts, our lives in this city.
My house is so mine - so just the way this bachelor (who does not mind paying for schools he does not use, or paying the assessments for same) wants it, it is unimaginable to pack it in and move, also unimaginable to live through this, so unimaginable to have this true pain. I feel I am losing my best friend, my house, my house, my house. I am very very sad, did I say that yet?
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