Connecting Dots and Comments

Over 110 people attended the Westwood Coalition’s June 12, 2014 community meeting. Some attendees left after the presentation portion and only fifteen people handed in comment sheets that night. However, more responses have come in via email and the website. An accompanying document provides more detail.

A preliminary glance at the comments and the dots demonstrates that Option 1, No Build, is undesirable. Options 3 and 5 got high marks. Option 3 has a low number of negative votes*, as indicated by the 0-1 and 1-2 columns. Option 5 has more negative votes than Option 3 but not by many. Both Options 3 and 5 have comparable numbers of positive votes, as suggested by the 3-4 and 4-5 columns. While we will continue to assess this input, it seems to indicate the compelling vision expressed by these options and attendees’ interest in significant change in the business district.

Note that Options 1 and 6 received twice as many negative votes as any other option (as defined by the two left hand columns, 0-1 and 1-2). Option 6 has 100 more votes than any other option, suggesting voting anomalies. The exceptionally high number of positive votes, completely out of line with the total possible votes that option could have received, supports this judgment even if exaggerated to some extent as others were. Voting irregularities, as witnessed by a number of people, included pooling stickers amongst attendees, putting multiple stickers in a section, and ignoring the criteria. Any reasonable person would point to this as a bold and crude attempt to sway the vote.

Setting aside Option 6 for a moment, given the voting anomalies, and averaging Options 1-5, there was an average of 330 votes per board. Each person was given six dots per board (36 in all), suggesting that 55 people cast votes. We understand that this is not accurate but it provides a baseline. Now consider Option 6: 436 votes were cast, a 31% increase over the other options, suggesting that 72 people voted. There are 272 votes on Option 6 just for columns 0-4. Remaining consistent with the experience of the other boards (330 votes each), the column labeled 4-5 would have gotten only 58 votes, not the actual 164 dots. Suffice to say, the voting irregularities on Option 6 must be considered in context and with the narrative remarks that are submitted.

Further, an analysis of all comments received to date demonstrates strong interest in Options 4, 3, and 5, in descending order, and limited support for Options 6, 1, and 2, in descending order, when considering respondents’ stated preferences in emails, on comment sheets, and via the website.

What remains is very significant community interest in a Westwood Square and a dramatic change at that. The Coalition will need to review this report and the community comments before making a recommendation, but shortening the list to two or three options is fairly straightforward and the subject of discussion at an upcoming Coalition meeting. Please see the accompanying document for more detail.

*“Votes” is used in this document to indicate meeting attendees’ assessment via dots on a criteria chart but should not be construed as a firm vote since the Coalition continues to receive comments and gather analysis. Also, “voting” irregularities skewed this process and, thus, it must be taken with a grain of salt.

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Endorsements Of Coalition Recommendations

To date, the Westwood Coalition has received notice of endorsement of its recommendations regarding the historic business district from Westwood Works, Westwood Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, and Westwood Civic Association.  Comments received from individuals via the website and email have been overwhelmingly positive.  The Coalition awaits word of one more organization’s response and then it will report its next steps and plans for more community engagement.  We hope you’ve had a chance to read the report and recommendations posted three weeks ago.  See the previous post.  Also, there is a lot of background reading on the form-based code under Further Reading.  We welcome your comments.

Westwood Community Meeting, July 27, 2013

Come to a community meeting on Saturday, July 27, 2013
9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Westwood United Methodist Church (3460 Epworth Avenue)
Sponsored by the Westwood Coalition for the Revitalization of the Business District
We will discuss the future of the business district on Harrison Ave. from Kling to the Cheviot line.  Together we can improve our neighborhood!
  • Learn about the research done so far.
  • Hear some ideas, including the possibility of a “town square”.
  • Give us your input and ideas.
The Coalition is composed of representatives from Westwood Civic Association, WestCURC, Westwood Works, Westwood Historical Society, business owners, and residents. Our goal is to gather community input on how best to improve pedestrian traffic, safety, and business opportunity in Westwood’s historic business district. A thriving business district will help to transform and stimulate Westwood while retaining the special character of Westwood.
Questions?  Email revitalizewestwood@gmail.com  or call 513.746.5385 or comment below.