Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor | Downtown’s progress

Progress is hard to define if you do not pin down the benefit group. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. We are talking about plans to have highrises at Kildare’s Pub, the Metropolitan and the Fraser Center.

Residents want to keep the town livable, while developers want maximum return on investment. One would think the voice of one developer against 100 residents would be a no-brainer. Nevertheless, these projects just seem to sail through.

The Downtown Improvement District is a small group of large property owners that have worked for generations to build their bastions. As a result, most downtown businesses are at the mercy of the decisions made by the few.

Interestingly, the local government is somewhat intermixed with the DID and seems to turn a deaf ear to its long-term residents. This was evident last year when the Borough Council ignored more than 100 people who petitioned the downtown master plan. Democracy at work.

The borough also gave a variance to the Metropolitan to build up to 14 floors for mixed use. Those developers already are anticipating it will be an all-student building. Kildare‘s is next up for approval. Have we learned anything?

So how can this be explained? Since the borough could not possibly like more strain on our resources, the answer could be the developers and the local government “like” each other. Meanwhile, the hidden cost of this “progress” is loaded on residents, the beasts of burden.

John Zwart

State College