Monday, August 20, 2007

The Second Battle For Countryside

The Second Battle For Countryside

Earlier this month at the Countryside Neighborhood Alliance night out celebration, I sensed a hope that had been struggling to flourish over the last few dark months. The city’s development plans had unraveled and the alliance felt that if nothing else, time had been bought. While none of us were under any illusion that we’d won a great victory in our first battle, we did think we had won time.

Time is up. Monday, the city will open another salvo. According to reports filtering out, the city is considering selling a tract of Countryside land to a neighboring business. Such a sale would most likely erase the third hole and second green as well as a chunk of the approach to the second green, although details remain sketchy and under wraps.

Looking at the most likely scenario if the sale goes through, the golf course would be radically changed and the idea of parceling out the course will have been introduced. With only sixteen and a half holes left, the course will have to be reconfigured with at least one more hole added. Where will that hole go? That’s the big question. Other questions pop in to my mind. If that tract can be sold off independently, will the city sell off others? Will Countryside slowly be turned in to an “executive golf course?” Will the neighborhood alliance’s resolve be tested every few months as the city sells off chunks of the property willy-nilly? Why haven’t our civic group leaders been included in any discussions?

Monday night’s meeting is key. City leaders need to understand that the people of Countryside care very deeply about their community. The city needs to see us at the meeting with our bright shirts on and resolve etched on our faces. Let’s hope that the wisdom of the council outstrips their desire to develop the land quickly. In this case, proceeding carefully and thoughtfully with all parties engaged in positive and honest dialog trumps a rush to development. Since the latest development plans fell apart, the city now has a unique opportunity to study the Countryside property in rich detail and figure out how to use it effectively as a recreation facility for all of the city’s residents. We need to make sure council understands that we have a vision for the property that would be a win/win for the community and the city. We need to be at Monday night’s meeting!

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

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August 20th, 2007 at 9:35 PM    

I’ve read an email today from person that I respect who charged me with putting out “false information” without a “double-check [of my]facts.”

That simply is not true. In every internal email I’ve witnessed and reply I’ve made, I’ve framed my comments on the best information available at the time. The fact is, Valerie wasn’t informed of the move to sell the parcel until last Friday afternoon. By the time she was in a position to ask questions, no one was available to answer her questions. If such communication would have taken place on Thursday, I doubt the community would be feeling as left behind.

Nothing about Countryside is trivial to this community. We’ve been through too much already.

Communication in this matter and all others is vital. Let’s make our government transparent. After all, we should all be on the same side.

That’s honestly how I feel.

PS. I appreciate Jess Newbern’s email today to his neighbors. He writes clearly and lays out his vision. I appreciate that. It’s something from which we can build.

Thinking In Vain

August 21st, 2007 at 1:43 PM    

Saw your sign yesterday – great idea (the sign).

I don’t live over there but I’m interested in reading up on what’s been going on.


August 21st, 2007 at 3:45 PM    

“Thinking in vain”,

If you get a chance view the video we took when we hung the banner. Really humorous.

We need to straighten it up a bit.

The good neighors of Countryside have alot of fun too.

The positive in all of this is how close many of us have become … that will last forever.

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