Smart planning |

Smart planning

I am writing in support of the proposed retail development ordinances which now lie before Carbondale’s town council.

The evolution of this document into the working structure which exists today represents a tremendous educational and consensus-building process. It represents a significant investment of time, effort and faith put forth by those in our planning community, especially those who we have entrusted to make decisions – our town’s planning and zoning board.

Opposition to the ordinances seems to be fueled by a misperception that they would prevent the development of retail opportunities in Carbondale. I suggest they take a closer look at the ordinances, and/or look at the public record of planning and zoning meetings that took place over the last year in which these proposals were discussed, analyzed, rewritten and streamlined.

Those who wish to divide this debate into two neat categories – “pro-mall” and “anti-mall” – are missing the point. The ordinances function to create smart development, not to hinder it.

Smart development, in the context of these ordinances, means three things:

1. Requiring information for assessing a development’s impacts.

2. Providing tools for mitigating those impacts, so development pays its way.

3. Setting reasonable size limitations on retail development, to encourage a diversified retail environment.

These proposals are not knee-jerk reactions. They are well-reasoned, professionally supported, easy to implement steps in planning for Carbondale’s future. If intelligent decisions are made now, future ones won’t need to feel as though they were based on surrender.

Don’t be fooled by names: “economic sensibility” is anchored in

Thomas W. Wardaszka


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