URBAN RENEWAL: Cry me a river

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Dear D.F. Oliveria, I can imagine what Coeur d’Alene would look like today “had Souza and others like her succeeded in their various scorched-earth attempts to stop various quality projects in Coeur d’Alene.” Coeur d’Alene would probably look a bit more as I remembered it when I first came to visit 30 years ago.

It was a charming city with character and it was affordable. Now the Lake District has tall, sterile looking buildings, the River (Stone) District is a sea of closely stacked apartments, traffic has dramatically increased and property prices have skyrocketed in Coeur d’Alene, making home ownership for locals unaffordable.

Urban renewal is a fancy name but it is theft on the taxpayer. Urban renewal diverts property taxes to a few areas while other areas of the city deteriorate and urban renewal subsidizes favored private property owners and developers who profit from it.

Sunday afternoon I took a walk with a friend along the river at “Le Peep.” We both noticed that the homes directly bordering the waterfront look like dark, barren boxes and do not blend in with the beauty of the flowing river. Is that what urban renewal promises?

HEIKE JAHNERT

Coeur d’Alene

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