Question Planners Should Ask: Is It Better Than What’s There?

Letter from CHIP NORTHRUP

Question Planners Should Ask:

Is It Better Than What’s There?

To the Editor:

To implement the Village of Cooperstown Housing Committee’s recommendations, the Village might start by being a bit more receptive to the demolition of derelict buildings for new development.

Since the village can’t grow outwards, it must grow upwards via infill redevelopment.

The density of the village’s building stock has probably decreased slightly from its peak – as evidenced by archival photographs of hotels that burned and larger buildings that were torn down and replaced by lower density structures such as the CVS building on Main, the under-utilized TJ’s building, or the abandoned car dealership on Chestnut.

New construction should be compatible with the neighborhood and historic context of the village, but the determining factor should be whether the proposed redevelopment is better than what’s there now – which in many cases is junk.

Disallowing redevelopment guarantees the decline and underuse of derelict buildings, to no good end.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown


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