Quick Update RE: HPPC Parking Plans

Earlier this week, Highland Park Presbyterian’s governing body discussed the church’s recently withdrawn motion to rezone for a parking lot — and the relatively minimalist new plan outlined here (and in the Oct. 15 issue of Park Cities People). No votes were cast, but the latter is on the agenda again for a Session meeting in November.

4 thoughts on “Quick Update RE: HPPC Parking Plans

  • October 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm
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    The new plan includes another strange, unprecedented design and usage of a block of 10 homes and their lots. It would require a rezoning of the block away from it’s current single-family residential status. The neighbors are opposed to this aberrance and see it as yet another sneaky attempt to rezone the entire block with future expansion in mind.

    If HPPC wants a parking lot, why isn’t it pursuing the idea that the Planning & Zoning Commission suggested they look into? An underground parking garage beneath their current campus is the most obvious answer to all current and future parking issues. No complaints from the neighbors on that idea!

    “Too expensive” doesn’t cut it as an excuse when the block in question is worth $15-16 million dollars and its sale could fund all or most of the cost. Any other money needed could be easily raised by the church, I would think, since they managed to get $8-10 million for other purposes this year alone.

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  • October 29, 2010 at 8:28 am
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    This has dragged on for too long. Perhaps that’s HPPC’s strategy? I hope HPPC realizes they are at a critical juncture. They could do the right thing by investing in an underground lot on their exiting campus solving their perceived needs without ruining the neighborhood. Alternatively, they could stretch this thing out and earn even more ill will from the community. We’ll see.

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  • October 29, 2010 at 10:20 am
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    Ill will is right. For many years the neighbors looked the other way regarding the dozens of illegal ways HPPC was using their block of houses. Because the church literally attacked the neighborhood by trying to force an unwanted, unsightly and unnecessary parking lot upon us, we have now reported their many violations, and they have to clean up their act. So in the end, they will have come out in the negative by starting up this whole mess. They have alienated their own neighborhood AND lost the use of their buildings as office, counseling center, storage units and more.

    Maybe they need a lesson from the Buddhists on how karma works.

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  • October 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm
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    When will HPPC leadership start believing that University Park rules and regulations apply to them as well as everybody else? This latest proposal is nothing more than an ill-advised scheme to avoid Planning & Zoning review, to avoid City Council Approval, and to build a parking lot on the 3900 McFarlin/University Single Family Block. It’s time for HPPC to stop this nonsense, return to being a responsible member of the community, clean-up all of its present illegal uses of single family homes, and maintain its properties to community standards.

    HPPC is an important institution in University Park. It is a beacon of light in many ways. However, HPPC has been seriously let down by its leadership in these matters. HPPC should be a leader in respecting City laws and community standards. However, instead of voluntarily cleaning up its numerous existing violations, it’s now proposing to add yet another illegal use of single family property – providing parking for an institutional user.

    Enough already. HPPC has a huge campus for its size membership. If it needs parking, put it underground on its campus.

    The single family homes it owns are just that, single family homes. HPPC has no right to use them for any other purpose. It shouldn’t require a city code enforcement action to restore properties to proper uses. HPPC should do the right thing – announce publicly that it will promptly stop the illegal uses and do so without requiring action by the city or its neighbors.

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