Letter to the Editor

Apartments ill suited for neighborhood

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dear Editor:

Once again the City of Nevada is threatening the integrity and character of our Highland Avenue neighborhood. A few years ago, we resisted the push to build multiple group homes on the vacant lot at 424 E. Highland. Now, Buildet Enterprises wants to build apartments on the five plus acres. To do it, they need to change the zoning from single-family dwelling (R-1) to apartment house district (R-3). The city council will vote again for the second reading on the zoning change soon.

Our neighborhood stability is threatened by encroaching commercial and non-residential development. Placing an apartment complex in the middle of our neighborhood will further negatively impact the appearance, essence and individual property values of our homes.

I don't dispute that Nevada needs more quality apartments, but I advocate uplifting the blighted, neglected, rundown shanty areas that are visible throughout this community, instead of our well maintained area. I see new siding, new roofs, fresh paint and landscaping along my street. Homeowners surrounding the First Baptist Church take pride in their home's appearance. The proposed apartments will be the same as those recently built on Ash and near the baseball stadium. The buildings' simple utilitarian design resembles barracks.

The heart of our neighborhood is composed of families; some with small children or grandchildren, some retired. We struggle to keep our neighborhood quiet and safe from the increasing traffic. The apartment would increase vehicles traveling Highland Avenue. Mr. Hendren anticipates renting to Missouri Welding Institute students from across the nation for one to 18-week courses. The short-term tenants will increase the population density; they will not integrate, care about or invest in the neighborhood.

I purchased my home eight years ago for my future retirement. Since then I made significant financial investment to improve the curb appeal and value of my home. I don't want to prohibit the property owner from financial gain; likewise I don't want to suffer financial loss from decreased property value or marketability.

A recent widely circulated post on social media cited Nevada as the "10th Worst Place to Live in Missouri." I believe we can change that but not at the expense of established, well-maintained and contiguous neighborhoods. Our council must be respectful of current residents and not be enticed by the promise of increased property taxes from an apartment complex.

Please join with me and others to oppose the zoning change and support development of single-family homes on 424 E. Highland Ave.

Sincerely and passionately

Rosemary S. Larsen