Letter to the editor: Haddonfield lot inadequate to add housing

Resident concerned with proposed low-cost housing project on Snowden Avenue

This letter to the editor was submitted to The Sun from Haddonfield resident Susan Podgor.

For 35 years, I have lived in the Snowden House on Potter Street. In 1816, Richard Snowden, a local potter, lived there and worked next door at his pottery, which is how Potter Street got its name. My back gate faces Snowden Avenue, his namesake.

For years, some of the homes on Snowden had seen better days. The municipal parking lot, facing them, is usually three-quarters full. If there are any events in town, it is filled to capacity, with the overflow on Potter. It’s available parking that exists and is needed because of its location to our town.

Years ago, a Boy Scout made it his Eagle Scout project to plant trees on the Snowden parking lot. For two years, he lugged water to the site and they thrived. It transformed the area! Over time, people who cared, moved in and made vast improvements on their homes. Today, Snowden Avenue has never looked so good.

The Snowden Project appears to be an easy fix to a complicated problem. They want to cram 28 units of low-cost housing there. Scattered housing is the only fair and reasonable way to accomplish this issue. It also does not stigmatize the residents living there.

I am concerned about three-story, 28-unit structures with multiple dumpsters, sheds, etc. needed to run a community housing development, stashed in the Snowden alley. It’s too much housing, for too many people, in too small a space.

“The Snowden Project,” is for families. Plans are to build over the existing parking lot, kill those trees, pave over the green space next to Borough Hall and make that a parking lot. Cramming 28 units, with no allowance for green space, is not the answer. Those residents are going to need a park and a place for the kids to play. Think about that need, when you are planning the number of units. Trees and gardens not only beautify but also add to the quality of people’s lives.

Isn’t that the point? For people, who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford to live in Haddonfield, to come and enjoy a better quality of life?

Susan Podgor

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