Local Residents Confront Developer of Blighted Property
The defunct and deteriorating Downtowner Motel has been a continual source of blight for Eureka’s residents for
what’s been over a decade now.
An eyesore and magnet for transients, trash, and graffiti, it should have been cleaned up or sold by the developer, Kevin McKenny, long ago and given the proper attention that neighbors deserve. It’s been long enough. It’s gone absolutely nowhere but down the drain with delays and excuses galore handed out routinely from time to time.
Will Houston writes of the progress— or lack of it—that has occurred during a recent neighborhood meeting where residents confronted McKenny, also a sitting member on the Planning Commission, on his downtown downer property in The Beacon:
Neighbors of county Planning Commissioner Kevin McKenny’s blighted Downtowner Motel in Eureka met with him last week to vent frustrations about the project’s delayed progress and draft some short-term solutions.
Sylvia Scott, who has lived a few blocks from the motel located on F and Eighth streets for the last 12 years, said she and other residents walked out of the March 6 meeting knowing progress had been made.
”I was very impressed with Mr. McKenny,” Scott said. “It took a lot of courage to face a lot of angry neighbors, and he was very gracious and understood our concerns. We were there to have solutions, not just complain about problems.”
The community meeting was organized by 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass, who received some backlash when she appointed McKenny to the county Planning Commission in February.
A former Eureka mayor and councilwoman, Bass said she plans to hold further meetings to ensure that “continuous progress” is made…
…The most pressing concern from the dozen residents who met with McKenny centered on the regular buildup of trash, graffiti and weeds around the motel with no promise of development in sight.
”We live in these beautiful homes that are really works of art,” Scott said. “But when you have a place like the Downtowner, it blights all the work we’ve done to maintain these pieces of art…”
An excerpt, you can read Will Houston’s full article in The Beacon .
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