Letter to the editor
Excelsior is changing
The past 10 years Excelsior has seen wholesale building decisions on the part of homeowners and businesses. The hotel proposal is only one demarcation of a gradual change in our Excelsior landscape. The direction is moving away from the concept of village to that of suburbia. Excelsior is officially defined as a fourth-ring suburb but the village illusion remains a part of our character and a remnant of our heritage. The concept of village is one that I’d like to maintain. The hotel is a fine idea. The dimensions and the visuals of the hotel are not. Instead the design veers toward structures similar to communities surrounding our city.
Similarly a parallel process of change is occurring from our homeowners. Square footage in new houses is increasing. Maximizing property value by expanding as much house as possible supersedes any consideration of neighbors, environment and preservation to local history. Indeed, our building behaviors result in a modern but a homogenous look. Is this the direction we want? Maybe – the trend sure is moving in that direction. Either the building codes are not enforced or hardships analogous to a hangnail are being permitted.
Unfortunately if the present version of the hotel gets passed, the event will reinforce the current building mind set that bigger is somehow better. The pliable 2008 Comprehensive Plan will continue to be interpreted in a way that best supports any individual interest.