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Say No to Storage Facility

I attended the University Heights Collaborative (UHC) meeting Tuesday the 10th of February to discuss the old Budweys at 416 Kenmore Ave. The simple question was never even asked who is for or against the impending storage facility that Joe Dash owner of Dash’s markets intends to install our backyard. I thought the UHC was here to advocate for the neighborhood, my neighborhood the University Heights to voice opinions and to organize for the betterment of our community. Instead of trying take a stand either for or against or asking a show hands for good measure, the UHC parlayed the meeting into a soft brain-storming session for ideas for Dash. The UHC it seems is bent on playing nice rather than dealing with the reality that Dash wants a storage facility due most likely to a poor business decision.

Many people spoke out about it and offered up alternative ideas. But I feel it is not up to us to “brainstorm” alternative business ideas for Mr. Dash. For that matter who says he is even interested in entertaining them? That being said, most people do not want this storage facility in their neighborhood. We’ll see for sure. There is a public forum coming to common council on February 24 at 1pm at City Hall in the council chambers. I hope people from the neighborhood, the city and even the region will ask how this may affect our city/neighborhood negatively. I hope people ask the questions: Who wants to live next to a storage facility? Who wants to open a business next to a storage facility? Who drives or rides past and looks at that fence, that lighting and rows and rows of garages or sheds and says “Hey I’d love to buy a home, hang out in this neighborhood”? (Let alone the potential array of horrific things that end up in them...just Google: corpses found in self storage sheds—someone suggested that I do this—and it’s bad.)

And this is not some abandoned—crime ridden part of the city (not that they deserve this either) or some industrialized zone of factories functioning or shut. It is also not some parcel next to highway or squeezed in between a busy boulevard and a bunch of big box stores. It is a neighborhood. Yes, it has faced some challenges but people live here and we want to make it better. People walk these streets. This is on a major arterial route—a street that thousands of people drive on daily, and is going to be repaved and redesigned in this upcoming year. It has viable businesses already on it. Kenmore Avenue abuts first ring suburbs and has a college campus around the corner. It has a major public transportation hub around the corner (NFTA University Station). It’s an area which has a rails to trails bike path coming to it soon. Just look where these self storage facilities are located. Seldom are they in the middle of an area such as my neighbors and I live.

I can only hope that people come to City Hall Council Chamber on February 24 at 1pm to voice their opinion.

Jesse Scmidbauer, Buffalo

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