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03/21/2019 Our Voice

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Developer’s plan solid fit for city

In less than a month, the council will decide the fate of Charles “Chuck” Dillon and his partners’ request to change the density of a 2.5-acre parcel of property west of Blue Cove Lake, as they seek to build up to 18 townhomes in a 55-plus community.

The council has a lot to consider: staff recommendations, the planning commission’s decision and those of the residents who have voiced concerns. But at the end of the day, this is a choice that should be an easy one to make.

First, it fits in line with the concept of smart growth. It’s a suitable location for such a development. It will not negatively impact water and sewer capacity limits, or public services.

Second, it will have a positive impact on the city’s tax rolls, increase a customer base for the utilities as well as businesses throughout the city.

Third, this council has a chance to rectify past mistakes of previous councils and the disastrous decisions made in the past 13-plus years, including the adoption of a restrictive, zero growth-based comprehensive plan.

Residents in the subdivision claim approving the measure will hinder property values, bring crime to the community and disrupt their peace and quiet. But those claims are circumstantial, and the residents against the proposed development have yet to provide substantial facts.

As we all learned a few months ago, through the city’s own legal counsel: it cannot base a decision on circumstantial claims, but facts. The residents have circulated a petition, garnering 70 signatures and basing that petition on an effort to “maintain property values of neighborhood.” That basis is circumstantial, not factual and the council needs to remember that.

Councilman Bill White claims it is important to heed the 70 signatures collected, but upon close examination of those signatures, we learned that those 70 signatures equal 28 households in the 200-plus home subdivision. That’s hardly a majority of homeowners in Blue Cove, let alone the city.

We encourage the council to do what is right for the future of the community, by voting “yes.” Not allowing this proposal to move forward would open for the door to a lawsuit, which the taxpayers cannot afford.