Mindy Spitz wakes up to the same sight each day.
“It is a lot that doesn’t even have a blade of grass existing on it,” she says, describing the property across from hers on Maryland Street.
For her and many of the people in Phelps Grove, the empty lot is a blank canvas perfect for picturing worst case scenarios.
“Students, we don’t know who. It will definitely change the complexity of our neighborhood,” she speculates.
Eric Pauly is the president of the Phelps Grove Neighborhood Association.
“It’s something that every neighbor I’ve spoken to in the Phelps Grove neighborhood has come out against,” Pauly says. “We need to stand up as neighbors and say no.”
He fears the lot will host something similar to what popped up in Phelps Grove about five years ago. Three identical houses on the corner of Loren and Florence.
“Many neighbors have asked me over the years, how did that get built,” he says. “It doesn’t fit in our neighborhood at all.”
But Mark Hunter, owner of the now-vacant lot on Maryland, says right now there’s nothing guaranteed on that space.
You see, the Phelps Grove neighborhood decided a few months ago, it didn’t want any more neighborhood development.
The problem is, that vote came after Hunter says he was given the ok on his real estate project.
“Before I bought the property, I went down to planning and zoning on two different occasions,” Hunter says. “Each time, assured that we could build these houses I want to build. But a sudden resolution came upon the neighborhood and City Council put a moratorium on it. All within days of giving me a demolition permit.”
The battle will head to City Council where Hunter will request an approved building permit and a chance to move forward– while Phelps Grove residents will request things stay where they are.