<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>

At what price does Cottonwood grow?

Editor:

As a resident of Verde Heights, I have been involved in many meetings regarding the Bashas’-Grosetta development at Verde Heights and 89A. In general, the residents of the neighborhood have not opposed the development, just its locations. Residents requested that the new development be place just 1,300 feet down the road, so this major commercial enterprise would not butt up directly against a quiet residential neighborhood.

The issues on the ballot, Propositions 401 and 402, request rescinding the changes in zoning made by our city government that allows this commercial development. It is my understanding that one of the purposes of zoning is to support a community that preserves separate residential and commercial zones.

Most communities attempt to balance the impact of commercial development on neighborhoods. Our city government has failed to do this. There was citizen participation, and the citizens involved were overwhelmingly opposed to the location of this development. Our city leaders could have required that the site be positioned where it would have had less impact on an existing neighborhood. Unfortunately, they did not, with the resulting neighborhood action that put this issue on the ballot.

The residents of Verde Heights and Citizens for Public Participation ask to preserve local neighborhoods by voting NO on proposition 401 and 402. Let’s ensure that the city government represents neighborhood/citizen needs, and doesn’t just pursue the highest bidder in a chase toward sales tax dollars. Do we, as a community, disregard the needs of existing neighborhoods? At what price does Cottonwood grow?

Sincerely,

Orville Gilmore,

Cottonwood

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