One of the major contributors to our traffic and other quality of life problems is the unsustainable development being approved. The city does not require impact studies beyond a few blocks in deciding what will have a good or bad impact on the city. Nor does the city seem to have a plan for future healthy and sustainable economic development. In fact, we have recently seen a great example of this with the unanimous decision in March to approve a new Taco Bell restaurant in Old Town.
Taco Bell is not what comes to mind when I think of businesses that represent what residents want Old Town to be known for. Nor is it a unique business that will help drive tourism and city revenue. But council members once again ignored residents’ input and approved it.
Instead, I believe development should reflect the existing character and desires of the current neighborhood AND it should be a sustainable, positive driver for the city. New developments bring economic activity and associated revenue along with costs and new demands on city infrastructure. Any new development should and must be economically healthy and sustainable for the city.