I have to admit, living near but not within view of the proposed Sisters of Mercy clergy retirement center on 99th Street near , the whole kerfuffle between the village, the Sisters and nearby neighbors has elicited not much more than a yawn. I understand the desire to keep the green space and concerns about how a development that size changes the physical character of the surrounding area. And I understand the concerns about additional runoff. But we’re not exactly talking about a new dorm for some wild party school. There will be negligible increases in traffic or noise once construction is complete. The village-wide effect of the actual development is practically nil.
To me the real issue is whether the Sisters are abiding by the agreement between the order and the village that the land be used for educational purposes only. It seems pretty clear that the proposed development falls outside the scope of the letter of the agreement, but not necessarily the spirit. , to an outsider, appears to be a tacit acknowledgement that after three years and $125,000 in legal costs to the village, it was time to compromise. It makes financial sense. I don’t want to spend tax money fighting a clergy retirement center on the grounds that it violates a 60-year-old agreement that was probably meant more to preserve the neighborhood setting than prevent a retirement center. In that sense, the compromise retirement is within the spirit of the agreement.
But there is that agreement…. And once we start trying to intuit “spirit” and “intent,” we sometimes get into trouble.
So what’s your view? Take our Poll, then tell us why or why not in the comments.
Is the village’s settlement a sensible compromise or a bad precedent-setting sell-out?