We are residents in Picfair Village who have resided in the neighborhood for nine years. We moved here and have raised our daughter here because of the wonderful charm and diversity this community provides. We are expecting a 2nd baby in October and hope to stay in the neighborhood and continue to raise our family here for many years to come. Sadly, we were informed in mid July that a new 5 story development - the tallest in Picfair - will be built on Orange Grove Avenue directly behind our home and the homes of several neighbors on Ogden Drive - all single families living in Picfair for many years.
This new proposed Transit Oriented Community (T.O.C.) development at 1546-1550 S. Orange Grove Avenue has been approved with a height exception of 55 feet (5 stories - 28 units), bypassing a Special Q Condition Ordinance that was passed in 2008 to protect Picfair Village that restricts building heights to 33 feet (3 stories). These Q Conditions were put in place to work similarly to Historical Preservation Zones - requiring limits on height, character, setbacks and open space. Further the development was approved without any environmental impact studies that would assess impact on congestion, water, electric, etc. despite recent water main breaks and existing issues with congestion and parking given the other new developments on Orange Grove. Finally - the development is out-of-character and grossly out of scale with the neighborhood. (Please see the mock up of how large this development will look in relation to the the rest of the neighborhood - permanently changing our landscape and character).
This is the first T.O.C. development being proposed in our neighborhood, but others are quickly following suit. There is already another approved TOC development on the corner of Orange Grove and Pickford - just three houses down from this development - further putting pressure on our local infrastructure with - again - ZERO environmental impact studies.
We have filed an official appeal to the 1546-1550 development that is currently being assessed by the City. This appeal is extremely important as it will help set the precedent as to how these developments are approved and treated in the future. We have been told it's the first appeal of it's kind in the city so Picfair residents have a chance to make history for the city, raise our voices as taxpayers and voters, and in turn help other communities like ours that are facing similar TOC encroachment.
Moving forward we plan to use a portion of our savings to fight this as much as we are able. However, we are asking for the community's help and donations since this affects us all. Any and all donations will go toward legal fees, environmental impact studies, and any other expenses needed for the public appeal hearing in mid October. All unused funds will be donated to the PVNC, a local charity of choice, or a community fund for future neighborhood appeals.
We support responsible development particularly development that helps with affordable housing. However this is a planned luxury development that barely conforms to the law regarding low-income housing provisions. Instead it leverages concessions in the TOC law to maximize profit and leave local residents with stressed-out infrastructure and a permanent change to the character and charm of our neighborhood.