Letter: Be brave, and talk to your neighbors

In response to George Wilson’s Letter to the editor (How to destroy a peaceful neighborhood, 02-26-2020), he forgot to mention that “neighbors” played a significant role in closing down a successful health club that had served Madera for more than one half century, before many of those houses were built. City staff (now all gone) likewise helped to void land use permits by excluding many pertinent facts in their staff report.

The former City Council failed to represent the citizenry by listening to the whispers that the health club’s customers were tattooed Hispanics. Well, more than three-quarters of us are Hispanics. It is no coincidence that Councilman Donald E. Holley and former Madera County Planning Commissioner Andrews have both given testimony concerning Madera police shakedowns of dark-skinned people in this neighborhood (see Neighbors: Oral History from Madera, California).

Afterwards, hundreds of seniors shuffled off to search for an alternative in order to retain mobility.

Today, Wilson attempts to dictate land use.

This is America, home of the free and the brave.

Be brave, Mr. Wilson, talk to your neighbors and buy the property. You can make it a private park.

In the event that you choose not to exercise your very American right, I suggest that the new City Council address the housing crisis: waive design review, waive parking restrictions, waive front yard setbacks, waive the need for sidewalks and underground utilities (along Orchard Avenue), abandon half of the right-of-way along the alley and ten feet abutting Orchard Avenue along the property line and rezone for the construction of thirty low-cost housing units no taller than three stories or, permit construction of forty camping sites for the homeless.

— Lawrence F. Lihosit,

Madera

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