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A blog that takes a look at West Chester area government, politics, and community events.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bold statement of last week

The award goes to Gordon Woodrow, a lifelong WCB resident who opposes Stan Zukin's plan to build a 126-room hotel at North Walnut and East Gay streets.

Woodrow, who obtained party status to the Zukin Hotel Conditional Use Hearing (this means he can call witnesses and can enter exhibits into the record), delivered a speech during last week's 7.5 hour round of the hearing. (Read about night one of the hearing here, and about night two here.)

Woodrow wins the Bold Statement award for boldness and for eloquence. Rarely at a zoning hearing does someone deliver a speech you actually want to listen to.

Here are some excerpts from Woodrow's speech:

* * *

I think it fitting to remind you at this time of year of the Frank Capra film “It’s A Wonderful Life.” West Chester is Bedford Falls, and George Bailly’s nightmare of Pottersville is what we are becoming. I have seen this wonderful family town become an every-weekend Mardi Gras destination for countless numbers of avid partiers, even once personally coming close to having to defend myself against several drunken, testosterone-fueled boy/men because our host failed to park fast enough for their convenience. AND IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

* * *

I assure you that a hotel built on top of a pharmacy may be a business model that works for an investor, but it is not one that predicts a first-class hospitality center for West Chester . . . What you will have is a huge, challenged building, with no scale in relation to the street, that includes clip-on ornamentation more fitting for Disneyworld. Simply put: an affront to the rich history of West Chester and not inspiring to other investors wanting something more in line with a small, vibrant, architecturally-interesting venue.

* * *

We have also been told this evening that the devil is in the details. I see many devils. Ladies and gentlemen, there are more audible calls in this deal than on any given NFL Sunday. Mr. Zukin knows how to call them, and our defense is good intentions? I submit to you now is the time to force the issue. Once you grant conditional use as requested, you will be setting precedent for the Mosteller block and for every other development plan that comes before you.

* * *

You can read Woodrow's entire speech here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

gordon: we have disagreed on politix for many years, but i applaud you for your stand against zukin's hotel, and the reference to pottersville could not be more apt.
personally, i am fond of the term "ZukinStan" for what west chester has become.
people are not listening, nor are they watching.
the bottom line seems to be zukin currency.
let me know how i can help.
your old dem pal: diane cirafesi.

December 16, 2009 8:12 AM 

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