Note: This is my opinion alone and not necessarily that of this organization.
So, In last Thursday’s Council meeting by a vote of 4-2 the council went against the wishes of most citizens, most notably those in the neighborhood directly affected. They also defied the neighborhood plan by allowing a street to go through the towerpoint commercial development into the Eastgate neighborhood. They did this seemingly for the benefit of a single development.
What trust can the citizens of College Station have in the planning process when this is allowed?
Another fait accompli for our somnolent community. We will continue to live in a maze of unwalkable, ugly, short-sighted development if we resign ourselves to it.
That is not my intention. Here are three steps I will take.
One: I am boycotting Blue Baker, whose owner decided that another thoroughfare to his front door was more important than the community that supports him. I founded the Brazos Independent Business Alliances with the aim of supporting our locally owned independent businesses. In that capacity, I have often promoted this business. Not again, until they recognize themselves as a part of a community and not a parasite to it. In fact, our Neighborhood integrity group has been holding breakfast meetings at Blue Baker. I hope that we can move those meetings so that I can continue to attend. Perhaps, a thoroughfare through a neighborhood is more valuable to this business owner than a sense of community. I intend to make that equation more complicated for him. I hope you will join me.
Two: Council members who voted against the Eastgate neighborhood are on notice. While support should not be made on single votes, this vote was fairly defining. If Tuesday’s election is any indicator, neighborhood integrity issues can no longer be ignored.
Three: This vote is not the final word. This council gave; another can take away. This developer may want to think twice about taking advantage of this gift. While this is a private roadway, it exists in an easement. I will work to find ways to have it blocked in the future.
For too long the citizens of College Station have been the victims of bad development. This will continue until we become more proactive in standing up to it. We keep appealing to the rules prescribed by the developer influenced city staff. That is only a small part of the rule book and it puts citizens at a disadvantage.
I understand that this development will be well served by a roadway into the Eastgate neighborhood. But the development would have been viable without damaging the neighborhood. Funneling traffic into the Eastgate neighborhood and ignoring the neighborhood plan makes that neighborhood and trust in our city much less viable.
Enough is enough!