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Posted on Sun, May 19, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

Hideaway lane serves as example for future opportunity in Ann Abor's Northside

By Letters to the Editor

hideawaylane_front.jpg

A preliminary drawing for a home at the revised Hideaway Lane development.

This is in response to the article, 19 new Old West Side-style homes coming to Ann Arbor's North Side

Hideaway Lane is very close to some of Ann Arbor’s largest employers (the University, the University of Michigan Medical Center, Toyota Technical Center, and Domino Farms, to name a few); as such, a neighborhood of single-family homes is appropriate. However, these prospective residents are often to some degree transients, have spent time in larger metropolises, and in general are comfortable with a wider breadth of architectural styles and neighborhood types than just that of the Old West Side.

Unlike many districts in Ann Arbor, Hideaway Lane falls outside the purview of historical preservation rules. What if we were more adventurous in exploiting that fact? What if we, noting the gap in the City Master Plan directives, began envisioning a new kind of neighborhood for the next generation of Ann Arborites - what if we dared to imagine this as the future Old North Side? Old West Side residents enjoy a sense of community fostered by their covered front porches and tree-lined streets; to what unique attributes could North Side neighborhoods be laying claim?

Let’s be honest, friends: this is a step up from the blank-faced tower that will soon be looming over the Old Fourth Ward. But you and I know Ann Arbor can do so much better than “not worst, at least”.

Jessica A.S. Letaw

Comments

ordmad

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 3:23 a.m.

All the news that's fit to print. And some other stuff too. Wow.

Arboriginal

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Let's keep the Hysteric Districts out of this area. The Nouvelle North is for progressives!

DJBudSonic

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

I am only welcoming of this development in as much as it is not 250+ units, adding to the traffic woes of the Plymouth/Broadway intersection. There are no doubt plenty of those in the works for the Northside, we know that Martin is doing that on Traverwood, and rumor is Allen wants 10 stories on the DTE property, and there is the 700 car parking structure going on Wall St. And Lowertown will no doubt be put forward as high-density, mixed-use. If this opinion is praising the restraint of the Hideaway Lane developer, I concur. If only all developers could exercise some restraint.

My2bits

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

I am not sure what this letter is suggesting. I live in this part of town. We have wonderful neighborhoods and a rich history. We are close to downtown, have a vast amount of parkland and the Huron River, and have a variety of home sizes and types. We are very happy here. The new development shouldn't be a problem and will bring new neighbors between the highly regarded Leslie golf course and the family friendly Leslie Science and Nature Center. It is likely to be successful for the developer and the new owners. Welcome.

Kaclol

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

Cogently opined.

Brad

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

So where do I sign up for my imitation old house? And just to be particularly unimaginative, we'll call it the (future) "Old North Side". So will they have a HOA to keep an eye on the fences?

Grumpy

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Huh?

ordmad

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

Exactly.