Blacksburg Names A New Planning Director (updated 2/21/08)

Yesterday I shared that Blacksburg had named a new Planning Director.  One of the comments I received on the post was so good that I wanted to share it in its entirety, in a new post.

Bill wrote:

I was thinking about this very topic the other day and realized that I
wish the town council really had taken another approach to this whole
thing. One is acknowledged their mistake when approving the changes to
the master plan which allowed the Wal-Mart in the first place (btw I am
in support of the Wal-mart). Now instead of passing a new Ordinance
which even by their own admission is flawed, and then suing the
development company and then in essence themselves, why didn’t they sit
down with the development company spend the 100k they’ve spent in
lawyer fees to come up with a solution that will work for the town and
the development company. Find ways to shelter the surrounding community
and the nearby school. Look at changing the roads to effect traffic
patterns to minimize traffic in the neighborhoods, or even changing the
master plan again to put the Wal-Mart on the opposite side of the
development. Or even better work with the development company to bring
in another store like Ukrops or something that wouldn’t have such a
negative feeling towards it…You can’t tell me Blacksburg wouldn’t go
just as nuts as Roanoke did over a Ukrops. I just think the town
council needs new thinking in it to bring smart growth to town by
working with developers instead of NO-growth or after how I have seen
the town act what I like to call dumb growth. Like you mentioned all
this Q2does is scare developers away that have good ideas, and can keep
the small town feeling that the b’burg citizens want to keep.

I think he’s right.  Why didn’t they just spend the money working WITH Fairmount Properties rather than AGAINST?  This all doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of Blacksburg, of course – the same could be said of Fairmount Properties, as well.  Nevertheless, here we are, and I could argue that Blacksburg’s citizens are no better off for it, at least at this point. 

Is Bil right?  Would his suggestion have been a better alternative to the lawsuit Blacksburg is currently embroiled in?  Or was the Town Council correct in attempting to enforce retroactively an Ordinance passed because of First & Main?

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