5/19/2005 4:42:00 PM Student housing proposal has safety issues
I too was a non-traditional student at LTC. The issues concerning the students living in our neighborhood are not simple or as clear-cut as presented in the letter to the editor (May 10 Daily News).
The safety of the students living in the proposed housing is a very big issue. The housing in question are single family rentals and not well maintained. I am the mother of two girls and I must tell you, that if it was one of my daughters that would be living in this housing, I would find another place for them to live.
One of the houses has never had a forced-air furnace and half of the front porch made into a bedroom. How is the room going to be heated and cooled? How will they insure the safety of the young lady when the other half has storm-window-type windows. The windows incorporated into the porch bedroom have insulation showing. Has the house been rewired to accommodate the use of hair dryers, curling irons, microwave ovens, computers and all the other little convinces that college students have in their dorm rooms?
In the two-story house they propose to make two bedrooms out of a large upstairs bedroom. The division of this upstairs bedroom further complicates the issue, by increasing the students in this house to eight. The upstairs bedroom has only one way in and out, there will be one exit for four students upstairs when the room is divided into two bedrooms. If this house should catch on fire and the stairway could not be used to get out, how will the girls be able to exit? The windows are small and quite high; one window has wood covering it. You have also increased the parking problem and number of girls in one building. Yes, I understand that Mr. Hohlbaugh has told us he is willing to give us something in writing that he will limit the number of residents. How will we know if he is in compliance?
Parking is another issue. The two-story house has parking for only two cars for six-eight students living in the house. The alley can not be used for parking, as it is an open alley providing access to garages, other residents parking area, and a fire hydrant on the corner of this lot.
The small "apartment" behind the two-story house has one way in and out. The door is next to the kitchen and should there be a fire in this building, will the girl living in this building be able to get out?
We also have problems with the sewer system in this neighborhood. Over the years this area had many houses added and connected to the sewer system. However, the sewer system was never updated or enlarged to accommodate the added sewage. Increased laundry and bath of 12-16 students each day will add to the sewer problem. When we receive one to two inches of rain in a short period of time, people with basements have sanitary sewer water back up in their basements. With this increased sewer usage will add to the problem and cause basements to flood with less rainfall. I am unwilling to clean up this unhealthy mess not to mention the cost and destruction. You have not lived until you can not use your sewer system.
Noise will also be a problem. The houses are constructed in close proximity. The added street traffic, stereos, and visitors will make for an unacceptable noise level. I have had to change bedrooms and still I could not get away from the noise. The music has been so loud that I could not hear my television. We have neighbors that work shift work and sleep at odd hours. I myself go to bed early and get up early.
Where you have young ladies, you have young men and other visitors. With 12-16 people living on this site, where are the visitors going to park? Emmons Street is a busy street with no parking on either side of the street. South King Street is a narrow street and almost impassable with cars parked on the street. We have emergency personnel that must exit the neighborhood in a timely manor to get to an emergency.
What rights do you have to interfere with our future income? Those of us, who own our homes, lose due to a drop in property value. Those of us who own rental property will not be able to attract families, which this area is zoned. We do not want our neighborhood turned into another A-Frame neighborhood with houses that no one wants to buy or rent.
We do not have anything against the student athletes. We do feel that this is the poor location for these students. I really value the time I spent at LTC and the friends I made with traditional and non-traditional fellow classmates. Thank you LTC.