During a recent planning session City Manager Mitch Johnson told City Council Members that one of the things he has heard from them is that the city needs to be more "neighborhood centric." The upcoming City Council Meeting will be an opportunity to do just that. One of the issues on the City Council Agenda for the Tuesday, Jan. 10 meeting is the rezoning of a piece of property on Freeman Mill Road. This rezoning decision will be a defining example of things to come in the area and of how the "new" City Council defines "Smart Growth."
Will the council overturn a decision by a planning board and zoning commission that seem to be primarily dense-development-oriented and don't seem to give a ******about the neighborhoods hurt by certain kinds of development?
During the 2005 City Council election campaign I was asked questions from several groups. Here is one of the questions and my answer.
Q. Low-density development does not pay for itself in taxes, is harmful to the environment and is an inefficient use of land. What specific policies and regulations would you suggest to reduce urban sprawl?
A. I disagree with the premise of this question. Controlled density is preferable to unregulated sprawl; however, each of us has an idea of the ideal home place. Forcing high-density living will only accelerate the sprawl problem because outlying land is usually less expensive and some people (like our own hero Daniel Boone) want “elbow room”. Mixed use development of housing and commercial land can help solve some of the problems of sprawl.
Using public and private resources to obtain and conserve natural areas and green environments around water supplies and to provide public land where no development is allowed should be encouraged.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?