Over the last 50+ years my family has lived in Piedmont we have seen progressive changes in Piedmont’s demographics. Our family moved to Piedmont in 1967, when most parents were having children in their 20s and comfortably surviving on one salary. Today the social and economic structures of families in our community have drastically changed. For a majority of our city, two full-time incomes are often needed to purchase a home in Piedmont, and even with dual incomes, many of my fellow alumni returning to our community still needed help from their parents to purchase their homes. Enrollment in our schools is drastically declining, reflecting young adults delaying parenthood until they can simultaneously afford a house and childcare in a city that doesn’t cater to working families.
Many of our longer-term residents who raised children here couldn’t afford to purchase their own homes at today’s current rates. The need for more affordable housing in Piedmont for families, seniors, school, and city employees is critical. For all these reasons and many more, I believe we should embrace additional, yet gentle density housing in Piedmont as the state is requiring us to do. I agree with those that have voiced concerns about over-development, I believe we don’t need to drastically change the look or feel of Piedmont. We could add small multi-family units on top of the buildings already in dire need of structural upgrades. such as our city center, the plethora of antiquated and almost always empty brick-and-mortar banks as well as Grand Avenue (if their owners are willing to sell the property to us and Piedmont can afford it). Replacing the ever-growing list of dilapidated and abandoned homes in Piedmont with affordable multifamily units would bring up home values more than the homes with tarps covering the holes in the roofs and plywood over their broken windows.
I want young people in their 20s and 30s to be able to move to Piedmont and eventually afford a home here. The problems we are experiencing in Piedmont are not unique. I would like to see Piedmont looking to the future to see how the benefits of creating more housing would strengthen the fabric of our community. I want our future generations to see that Piedmonters are wise, creative, and forward-thinking.