West Street Greenspace Preservation Coalition (WSGPC) Logo

Patricia Meyer Releases Position Statement on West St.-compliments work of the Coalition

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my candidacy with the members of the West Street Greenspace Preservation Coalition.  This organization is to be applauded for its commitment to the protection and preservation of the green-space around West Street.  This area is of personal importance to me as it is part of my neighborhood and my family uses and enjoys the activities this green-space provides.  I believe this green-space is crucial to all.  It provides for outdoor programs and events which otherwise we would not have in Naperville.  It also provides a well-needed relief from the development of our land.  I look forward to working with you both as a resident and as a council member to ensure this green-space is protected and preserved.

Your mission and mine follow the same principles: ensure that Naperville preserves and protects what attracted us to Naperville and what has kept us here in the community.

There are three (3) things I am particularly committed to and focused on: listening to our community; strategically planning for our future; and responsible use of our resources.

Most importantly, I actively seek input from members of our community to ensure a well-informed, balanced perspective upon which to make decisions. As a council member, I will take a hands-on approach: I will not solely rely on reports provided by others, but will also discuss the issues and concerns with the community and physically view the areas of concern.

Second is the development and redevelopment of our entire City. We are a Master Plan community – this has worked reasonably well for us as we saw the tremendous growth, however we are now approaching build-out. We need to reevaluate and update our Master Plan using public input; we need to determine the best uses of fill-in development by considering the intensity of use, the compatibility of the use, the character of the surrounding community, and the needs of the community. We need to ensure that our neighborhoods, schools, and quality of life enhancements (such as our green spaces) are protected and preserved. We need to follow our plan and not deviate without a compelling reason. If we make a change we must consider the long term impacts and how best to mitigate those changes. We must consider if and how we can compensate for the change – all of this must be done using public input – it is our community.

Third is the responsible use of our City’s resources. We need to build partnerships with all of our governing entities and find ways to maximize our combined resources. We do this to reduce our tax rates and spending and we do this to maximize amenities that meet the needs of the community. By working together we can be most effective in our strategic planning and reaching our goals.

I would like to address the two largest issues which are your immediate interest: the land between the Ponds of Hobson West and the Caroline Martin-Mitchell intergovernmental discussions.

Land between Ponds of Hobson West

 

I have followed this issue since it was before the Plan Commission, and have spoken with numerous residents, City Staff, City Council Members, Park District and Forest Preserve representatives to gain their perspectives.

I believe the decision to change the zoning from single-family to multi-family was wrong for many reasons:

    * Community input was not given sufficient weight;
    * No compelling reason was presented by the developer to change the zoning;
    * No compelling reason was provided by Council for the change in zoning;
    * The change does not follow our Master Plan nor is it strategically in the best interests of the surrounding community.

I argue that attention should have been paid to the prior decisions made for the surrounding developments and that this decision was made as "piecemeal". A very narrow vision was taken when a broader, more strategic vision should have been used. I believe that the residents and WSGPC effectively communicated this to the Council, and that the decision should have been either to keep the single-family zoning or, if it was to be changed, designated as park/open space.

Based upon Council’s decision the land is now zoned for multi-family. I appreciate the one year provision which may lead to a better use of the property. I have spoken with representatives of the Park District (both current commissioners and the candidates) to express my views and belief that they are most logical purchaser of the land. I also spoke with the Forest Preserve since it would be the next logical choice. I continue to urge others to contact the Park District with their thoughts and options.

Caroline Martin-Mitchell Discussions

 

I completely encourage and support these discussions. School District 203, Naper Settlement and the Naperville Cemetery are all considering additional development. This development will impact the surrounding area. I applaud 203 and the City for the initiative to bring the stakeholders together to communicate anticipated needs, weigh possible options, and to discuss how best to cooperatively meet the needs of the community. This is strategic planning for our future. This is building relationships and partnerships and working together to ensure Naperville continues to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.

Having discussions such as these as an early part of the process is in the best interest of Naperville. I believe having the WSGPC and the NAHC (Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation) also involved is important. Expending the time and effort to look at the big picture and beyond the individual property lines to search for solutions which will create a cohesive and compatible environment is what makes a great community.

My unwavering commitment to listening to what Naperville wants for Naperville,