For many, it’s a bit unnerving when one hears you’re getting new neighbors, because you have very little control of who moves in next to you.
We all like having control over our surroundings, and when there’s a change, it can hit a few nerves quickly. When many of us living here within the Gardens at Willowbrook association heard that Habitat for Humanity had purchased the land adjacent to our neighborhood, many residents felt uneasy.
No matter who purchased this plot, there’s guaranteed to be resistance and disapproval of change. Especially when change involves wiping out the tranquility of trees and a cornfield as a neighbor, and swapping that for very dense housing accompanied by added traffic.
Paul Schulte, our association treasurer, is on record as saying that our association approves of this development. It appears there was some miscommunication that led to this going on record.
Habitat has been very cooperative in working with our association, gathering feedback on their development integration, which possibly led to the perception that we approve.
We do not have enough input from our association to make a blanket statement to that effect, whether we approve, or disapprove.
Many of the of conversations I’ve had with our members disapprove of the project entirely while others have a more reluctant acceptance of the development, and ask how can we shape the plan to be agreeable to both sides.
Valerie Johnson-Renk from Habitat has been very transparent and cooperative in sharing information and taking our feedback as they put together a plan for the land.
In a meeting last summer we openly shared concerns and had a great forum. Weeks ago, they revealed their initial plans, many were shocked to see 125 lots, all of them projected to be around 6,000 sq. ft., bringing up some concerns and feelings that our feedback went unheard.
When I say that our association does not approve of this development, it means that we never asked that specific question to our members.
We respect Habitat for Humanity’s mission, but many do not agree with the initial plan proposed by Habitat and their developer with a general feeling that it is inconsistent with the surrounding properties.
As previously stated, there is concern about the smaller lot sizes, use of a private carriage lane, lack of green space and substantial removal of trees.
Gardens at Willowbrook Homeowners Association