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Birch Avenue Resident Points to Incongruous Location of Club Plan

To the Editor:

The letter written by Steve Distler reveals the near contempt and lack of understanding that he has for our neighborhood where he proposes to build his jazz club. Would you find an aircraft carrier in Lake Carnegie a little out of place? Would you consider a Harley Davidson racing the Tour de France maybe on the wrong course? Mr. Distler aims to change the purpose and timbre of a residential neighborhood by insinuating his dream in our backyard. Do you find the incongruity of such an establishment as outlandish as the residents of our neighborhood find it?

Mr. Distler is wrong in his assumption that only the residents on the other side of Route 206 find his jazz club an insult. We the people of Birch Avenue aren't as ignorant as he implies in his condescending letter. We are outraged at the myopic nature of his plans and by the total lack of sense displayed by our Township Zoning Board in supporting his personal monument to be built on our street.

If the Zoning Board members are so in favor of ruining a neighborhood, why not ruin their own neighborhoods? Many of us on Birch and Leigh Avenues feel that because it is our neighborhood, it doesn't matter what the Zoning Board decides. It is completely obvious to all of us on these streets in the Community Park neighborhood that, if this New York style jazz club were proposed for Cleveland Lane or Hodge Road, Mr. Distler would be run out of town, not just their neighborhood.

So, Mr. Distler, who are these "hundreds of people who have supported" your effort to build the jazz club? Where do these hundreds of people live? If they live in your neighborhood, and they are so supportive of your effort, why not build this special place on one of their corner lots?

As to your claimed "silence," the only silence we hear is from our Township fathers who are not protecting the people they supposedly represent and hold dear. As to the five claims of your letter:

1) I went to your first coffee and donuts meeting held at Mike's Tavern one Saturday morning, after the Township Zoning Board had already granted you a variance, and saw your site plan. There were people at this meeting who all had the same question: where will you park all these cars? Your "explicit assurances" are not enough. We live here, and see how the overflow of cars on a Saturday morning of soccer games, the overflow of traffic on Shakespeare nights crowd our own streets and blind our sidewalks. Where will we park our cars? Where can our children now play safely?

2) I am sure that your acoustical "experts" will defy the physics of noise, and we will never hear anyone leaving your club at 1 a.m. when our children are asleep. How acceptable would the noise be from a jazz club on your quiet street at 1 a.m. night after night?

3) Again, many traffic "experts" also live on our street, and navigating a turn onto Route 206 is no easy feat, even with the current structure. The traffic "experts" in our neighborhood are best suited to advise you on how to handle your increased traffic, Mr. Distler, take it somewhere else.

4) Updated Zoning Codes I am sure will prevent many traffic accidents because they claim they will. I saw your site plan, as I said, and your proposed structure will definitely obstruct the view onto 206. Who's going to pay for the traffic light that will eventually be required for this new hazardous intersection that you are creating? Probably the taxpayers of the neighborhood who don't want this to begin with.

5) As to your legal eagles notifying all the residents, the letter of the law you may follow (or not) – but do you have any sensibility to the spirit of the neighborhood? Tearing down a house where people live so that you can pave over a grassy backyard to park a few cars for a night club in a family neighborhood? That may, in fact, be legal, but what else is it?

Mr. Distler, find a new place for your aircraft carrier. You will surely have success if you find the right harbor.


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