West Side Story: Winter Park Turns a Deaf Ear to the Wrecking Ball

Interesting thoughts on Hannibal Square debate.

Preservation Winter Park

Have you ever read Winter Park’s Comprehensive Plan?  It’s the document, codified in 2009, which is intended to govern all growth management and land use planning for the city.  Goal 1-1, in ALL CAPS AND BOLD states that the city shall “MAINTAIN INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY, CHARACTER, NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, AND SOCIOECONOMIC AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY.”  See for yourself: http://cityofwinterpark.org/Docs/Departments/comp_plans/CompPlan_FLU_GOP.pdf.  I combed the document carefully, and couldn’t find any caveats to Goal 1-1 like “unless we’re talking about Winter Park’s West Side,” or “unless this plan interferes with a developer’s ability to make a profit.”

To the contrary, the first goal of the section pertaining to the West Side is “The City shall discourage non-residential and high-density residential encroachments into low density residential areas of this neighborhood planning area.” Yet given what’s been going on in the city’s historic African American neighborhood in recent years, West Siders and other fair-minded citizens might…

View original post 1,288 more words

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About J. Chambliss

Julian Chambliss is professor of History and coordinator of the Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. With research, teaching, and service centered real and imaginary urban spaces, he is an interdisciplinary scholar and award-winning teacher. He has designed digital humanities projects to investigate community and document black culture in the United States. Follow him on Twitter @JulianChambliss.
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