We would like to express our support for the creation of a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District (NCO) in Strawberry Mansion.
Strawberry Mansion has a significantly high homeownership rate. These homeowners have remained committed to Strawberry Mansion through dramatic neighborhood changes. Forces beyond their control, and programs they did not initiate, such as John Street’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) have led to the demolition, rather than restoration, of hundreds of rowhomes that had fallen into disrepair, leaving entire blocks vacant. This further exacerbates issues for a community already coping with a recent history of white flight and discriminatory lending practices. Now that the value of the land is visible, these neighbors have decided to get involved in shaping the incoming investment.
The neighbors of Strawberry Mansion, who assumed the responsibility of drafting this overlay, have been thoughtful in considering what design elements would maintain and rebuild the kind of cultural dynamics they value most. These dynamics include talking to neighbors on porches, investing in quality, lasting building materials, and encouraging families to stay and pass down their homes through generations. Employing the NCO will support Strawberry Mansion’s established community goals to preserve and revitalize their cherished community. All who decide to invest here should show a commitment and respect to the sense of place existing in Strawberry Mansion, something that cannot be easily observed from an aerial review of the community via Google Maps.
We fully support residents actively participating in the shaping and development of their neighborhoods.