Whitehaven Community Development Corporation Post Office Box 9695  Memphis, TN 38190-0965 A residential area is a mass of land in which housing predominates as opposed to industrial or commercial uses. I currently live in a residential area that had a vibrant neighborhood school for many years. When Graves ES was placed on the 2014-15 SCS Closure Proposal list, its last Principal, Debra D. Martin, addressed then SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson with a proposal to address the stated deficiencies in an attempt to prevent the neighborhood icon from closing. I possess a copy of said proposal. I’ve toured the school, seen with my own eyes, and have SCS pictures of the horrible conditions the building was left in. SCS even removed the MRNDA donated playground equipment without a word to the neighborhood regarding their intentions to do so. In 2017 I requested permission to repurpose the building into a “Person-Centered Planned Community Center,” something that would benefit the community as a whole without requiring new inlets to disrupt the facilities green space from the already busy Winchester Road. The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible, to prevent new development from interfering with existing uses, and to preserve the character of a community. The current zoning for the former site of Graves ES is Residential (10), but the applicant wants to rezone it for a light manufacturing facility that will encompass a vocationaltechnical program that teaches youth how to continue to be slaves in a modernized factory setting instead of propelling them into entrepreneurship or the ability to make real wages using their minds and God-given talents. Who’s really benefiting here? The youth or the organization? The applicant states, “The proposed development will not unduly injure or damage the use, value and enjoyment of surrounding property…” How would they know? They don’t currently live in the area and they don’t have any idea about how serene the area currently is. All they want to do is to convince those of us stupid enough to believe that they have the best interest of our youth at heart, which they don’t. Gaining a real education, not obtaining a vo-tech skill does. The applicant states, “The location and arrangement of the structures, parking areas, walks, and lighting… shall be compatible with the surrounding land uses…” The surrounding land uses are residential homes. What is comparable with where one lives and where he or she and thousands of other outsiders are employed? Nothing. The location and arrangement of a light manufacturing facility in the midst of a planned neighborhood is not compatible with any of the existing land uses. We have repeated asked Graceland to address and acknowledge the fact that the neighborhood most effected does not appreciate this proposal. However, we have to learn about it from the public records like everyone else. No meeting requirement for the neighborhood was met and we had asked as early as November 10, 2019, long before any COVID-19 pandemic was ever imagined. We followed up with another request for a meeting on December 6, 2019, to no avail and again took it upon ourselves to prevent the pending clash of opinions on February 6, 2020, only to be told, “I believe that when and if the purchase is completed Joel Weinshanker will look forward to working with the neighborhood.” Well Mr. Weinshanker and supporters, guess what? We have lost all respect for you because you did not have the decency to speak to us before announcing to the world your financially stable plans to ruin the place that many of us, and not any you, call home. And the debate therefore elatedly begins… Regards, Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, President Whitehaven Community Development Corporation

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