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‘It does not take a real estate expert to understand that a fire and rescue station located in a residential neighborhood lowers home values’

Based on the results of the response time analysis, I fully support the city’s effort to build a new fire and rescue station to serve the southern portion of the city and the airport.

Several months ago, when I received news that Lee Manor Park located at 9650 Shannon Lane, across the street from our house, was one of the proposed locations for a new fire and rescue station, my wife and I got concerned because location is parkland in a residential neighborhood adjacent to George C. Round Elementary School. On Thursday of last week, I was informed that the city was moving forward with the new fire and rescue station at Lee Manor Park. 

I spent a better part of my weekend canvassing my neighborhood (Lee Manor), as well as other neighborhoods nearby the location of the proposed fire and rescue station to receive public input from the neighborhoods impacted by the new fire and rescue station.  Every person I spoke to, including Delegate Jackson Miller, is strongly opposed to the idea of having a fire and rescue station in the location of Lee Manor Park next to George C. Round Elementary School.

The opposition is due to many valid concerns that will negatively impact our community. Below are some of the major concerns

The first concern is the safety of our children walking to and from school, from Lee Manor and other surrounding neighborhoods to George C. Round Elementary.  This holds true for children enjoying the park in the afternoons and weekends or during summer months on break.  Many of these children will need to cross the emergency exit of the fire station.  This puts our children at risk of being run over by fire trucks and ambulances responding to emergencies.  No parent wants to have this image on their mind each time their children walk or ride a bike to the park or school to play.

Fire trucks and ambulances are extremely loud mostly due to the noise fire engines and ambulances generate from sirens and horns, but also diesel engine noise, as well as road noise caused by the excessive weight of the vehicles. This will cause our sleep, rest and relaxation to be interrupted.  Prolonged periods without sleep can be very unhealthy and cause both short-term side effects as well long term side effects like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

It does not take a real estate expert to understand that a fire and rescue station located in a residential neighborhood lowers home values.  The home values in Lee Manor have dropped the last two years. Locating a fire and rescue station in our neighborhood will cause our home values to decline even more.  cityreal estate taxes help fund the city. The more our real estate assessments decline, the lower the tax revenue is generated to fund the city.  I recommend the city taking measures to increase property values like making improvements to Lee Manor Park.

Lee Manor Park is a resource for family’s to enjoy life, nature and to exercise.  Losing park space will negatively impact the Lee Manor neighborhood as well surrounding neighborhoods.  Lee Manor neighborhood does not even have a small playground for our kids to play. Our kids walk to Lee Manor Park and George C. Round Elementary School to play.  Loss of park space in the city and loss of park space within a reasonable walking distance from Lee Manor neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods will have a detrimental effect on our family’s health and wellbeing.

Lastly, the creek runs through Lee Manor Park and Lee Manor neighborhood.  The proposed site for the new fire and rescue station is in an environmentally sensitive area, due to the proximity of the creek.  Tree canopy will be reduced and storm water runoff will increase, causing the already eroding creek banks to erode even further.  Our state bird, the Cardinal as well as other native birds like the Robin nest in the trees next to the tennis court.  These trees will be removed to make room for the new fire and rescue station.

All of the citizens I spoke to agree, that the best location for the firehouse and rescue station on city-owned property, is located at Gateway Boulevard and Carolina Drive area.  The city owns multiple parcels of land inthis area that is already zoned light industrial, not residential as Lee ManorPark is.  This location is on theopposite side of the parkway from the new townhomes and condos that will makeup the residential section of the Landing at Cannon Branch.  This is the optimal location to serve theresidents and businesses in the southern end of the city as well as theairport.

The proposed location of the new fire and rescue station in unacceptable.  If necessary, I will gladly volunteer my free time and resources to assist the city in finding a proper location.

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