Since I have been Supervisor of Grand Island, I have met with developers who have come to my office trying to hawk the white elephant gift of sprawl as a solution to Grand Island’s problems.
Let me say it here clearly, “I DON’T WANT IT.”
You can keep your cloned apartment complexes and cut rate subdivisions. We don’t have the infrastructure to support it. And further, there is no apparent need or desire to have it. I don’t have droves of people coming in demanding more apartments. Quite the opposite.
Let me also say this clearly, “I did not, and do not support the apartments on Grand Island Blvd.” That was underway before I took office.
I hope the apartments are a success, but I miss the green space that was there. Those apartments (no matter how fancy they claim to be) were a mistake. It’s too big, too costly, and poorly conceived.
I’m not just against superfluous apartments. I don’t want big box stores covering Grand Island either. I would support (and am actively trying to find) a grocery store that would come here. But you can keep Walmart. Would a few chains make Grand Island a more convenient place to live? Maybe. But at what cost to our existing stores and our town?
The path to success for Grand Island is keeping it unique and protecting its green space and not mimic the failed development schemes of other cities and towns in America.
Some people think a Master Plan means a plan to carve up the Island for developers. Or they think we should sell out to the big box chains.
I have seen the circles of decaying apartment complexes and strip malls in Phoenix and Houston. Once they build one complex, they are off to the next, with each layer of development leaving its predecessor behind to decay.