A group, Our Bahamas, is petitioning the Department of Physical Planning to stop the further commercialization of Village Road.
The petition was started after an application was made to the Ministry of Works and Department of Physical Planning for the rezoning of lot number one in the Montagu Heights Subdivision from residential to commercial use. The lot sits on the corner of Village Road and Windsor Avenue.
The application was made on behalf of Maude Lockhart-Braunlich for Mackey and Moxey Law firm.
Up to press time, 239 people signed the petition. The organization is attempting to obtain 500 signatures.
“For over 24 years the Montagu Heights Neighbourhood Association has fought to preserve the residential zoning of our neighborhood and others in the Village Road area and now appeals to all others facing the same risk, to urgently add their voices now,” the organization said in the petition, which appeared on the website Change.org.
“There are approximately 650 single family homes and 320 apartment units among the neighborhoods adjoining Village Road that are zoned residential.
“The Department of Physical Planning and Town Planning Committee (DPP/TPC) are charged with the care and positive physical development of our nation yet seem compromised given the appearance of bars, liquor stores, numbers houses and other commercial entities at the doors-steps of residential neighborhoods and schools, with or without DPP/TPC approval and permission. This unchecked and un-protested activity has deteriorated residential communities across New Providence and is how the safety and sanctity of family neighborhoods are lost and why we are now forced to live in gated communities to ensure this simple right.
“There is a bar immediately adjacent to Queen’s College and the Bahamas National Trust where young children gather daily. Consider this happening at the end of your street or next to your house.”
Our Bahamas’ fear is that the “seemingly harmless” revision would open the door to full commercialization and the inability to prevent future rezoning applications.
“This is not about preventing enterprise, this is about stopping the continued deterioration of the social fabric of our communities,” the group said.
“Should a numbers house be next to a school? A bar or liquor store next to family homes? What is appropriate for adult entertainment zones? Is multi-family the same as commercial?”
A town hall meeting was held on Monday night at the L.W. Young Junior High School where two other applications for rezoning were presented.
“Town Planning and the Department of Physical Planning hold these meetings to allow the public to respond to the application and all three applications were strongly opposed,” the group said.
“The comments from the town meeting will be presented at the next town planning meeting for the Town Planning Committee to make their decision on these applications.
“This is the start of taking back our communities, not only in the Village Road area but across New Providence so your continued support is needed.”