The debate over the proposed Capital City Stadium sale reflects the need for a much larger discussion about the future of our city. We have an opportunity to use the energy around the current debate to create an enforceable vision for a clean, safe, vibrant economic engine for our citizens and a model for progressive and sustainable development. Only by working together can we make that happen.
This is an emotional issue. As such, I encourage council, community leaders and engaged citizens to take a step back, come together and work toward building a comprehensive plan for our corridors – including the Assembly Street corridor. I believe the sale of the Assembly Street property must be held until this plan is created.
It won’t be easy. If it were easy, it would have been done already. But it is necessary. It is necessary for the future of Assembly Street and for the future of our great city. If we want to have good urban growth, we need great planning.
From Rosewood Avenue to the university, the Assembly Street corridor is primed for growth. So it is imperative that we create a thorough plan for development that embraces our city’s vision for the future.
This plan must be a community effort that reflects the various concerns of all of Columbia.
This plan must be a comprehensive plan that focuses on maximizing economic growth, protecting neighborhood integrity and preserving, enhancing and embracing the natural environment.
This plan must be a transformative plan that addresses the antiquated zoning laws that have caused confusion and allowed for unacceptable permits for things like a porn shop on Devine Street.
I’ve spoken with business leaders, environmental leaders and community leaders. To a person they agree the city needs better planning for urban growth and we need it now.
I am working to bring together other stakeholders, experts and leaders to develop a plan. As a member of council, I will continue to play a very active role in these discussions and I will do so until we have a strong plan that will benefit our city for generations to come.
Comprehensive strategies sound good, but this also seems a convenient way to avoid a decision before the April election.
But if Cameron’s dodging this, he has my sympathy to an extent. I remain torn about it. I’d be happy to have the convenience of a Walmart downtown, but I’m sympathetic to the businesses’ and neighbors’ concerns…