Friday, January 21, 2011

Threat to my neighborhood...

I learned yesterday that there is a new threat to my neighborhood. 

I live in a very busy, high crime city.  We live right down town.  Despite that, our neighborhood is safe, quiet and clean.  We have our neighbors to thank for that.  We are caring, hard working families and students that are heavily invested in the future of our neighborhood.  But all this stands to be destroyed by a new nightclub venue that is applying for a liquor license just a hundred yards from my front door.  This club is applying to be able to serve and sell carry-out alcohol 20 hours a day, 7 days a week!  It seems that every Monday, the news is telling us about another shooting, stabbing, rape, etc. that happens in one of these downtown clubs and now its coming to my front step!

I have written the following personal letter to include with my formal opposition letter to the zoning and liquor board.  We need your prayers that those involved will take the concerns of me and my neighbors seriously and will not allow this club to open.  Here is my letter:

Baltimore Municipal Zoning Appeals
417 E. Fayette Street
8th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this personal letter in addition to the attached formal opposition letter. I have been a resident of Barre Circle (part of Pigtown) for almost five years now. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, in safe, quiet towns and was a little uneasy about moving to Baltimore and living in the city. In time, I have grown to love this city, mostly because of the wonderful neighborhood I am blessed to live in. Thanks in large part to the snow last year, I have gotten to know my neighbors well and I can see that they are hardworking families that care about their homes and neighbors. On Saturdays, they spend their time outside, whether hot or cold, cleaning up the sidewalks, raking leaves, trimming back plants, and planting flowers. We maintain our parks and provide our own funds for landscaping. We organize community clean-up projects and get-togethers year round. This community, nicknamed Little Georgetown 30 years ago when it was rehabilitated, takes a lot of pride in our appearance and in our welcome attitude.
What we are not welcoming however, is the possibility of a nightclub/entertainment venue that has the potential to erode and destroy all that my neighbors and I have worked hard for. The Ambrosia Music Lounge (“club” hereafter) is applying for a liquor license that would allow it to serve and sell carry-out alcohol 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. This would bring in a type of activity that would render our neighborhood very family-unfriendly and would force many of us to leave. These hours would have very loud, intoxicated people in our neighborhood at all hours of the day and night, disturbing our quiet, little community. The “club” has not made proper provisions for parking that would result in overflow parking into our neighborhood, forcing our residents to park far away from their homes and walk in an unsafe environment. The “club” has not made proper provisions for trash accumulation and would result in our once clean sidewalks being used as trash cans, where litter, spoiled food, and broken glass would make it unsafe for our children to walk, never mind play.

When my husband and I started our family last year, we contemplated leaving the city, being fearful of how safe the environment would be for our children. Seeing other families in our neighborhood reassured us that we were in a safe place and that this was an appropriate place to raise children. We felt so secure, in fact, that we purchased the house we had been renting. Our decision would be drastically different if the proposed “club” were to open right around the corner from us. We currently enjoy being able to walk our child and our dog around our neighborhood without fear of crime or harassment. We enjoy being able to walk to the University where I am a full time graduate student and my husband is employed at the hospital. We enjoy being able to contribute to a caring neighborhood and build relationships with other families around us. We will no longer be able to enjoy these things if this club opens up at 756 Washington Blvd. and we will immediately begin making plans to sell our house and leave, before the “club” can have a negative effect on our property value.

I hope you will take these concerns into consideration as you investigate and review the application for a liquor license for the proposed “club”. The residents of Barre Circle and Pigtown are greatly concerned about their neighborhood and are very invested in its future. Please work with us to ensure that our neighborhood can continue to be the family-friendly oasis in the city that it has been for many years. You may contact me directly if you would like to speak further regarding this matter.



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