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March 31, 2010


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Hey Dan-

A good and bad news event. Good that downtown gets another restaurant, bad that South Broadway loses one. I believe the City has a problem on its hands with South Broadway...what should the character of this gateway be? It's unfortunate that visitors are greeted with boarded up restaurants (not to mention vacant car dealership), and ramshackle hotels as the main Southern gateway to our Community. The location where Shanghai is currently is one of the worst locations in the City...there has never been a successful business there in the past 25 years! Thanks again-good post as always.


Yea you're right Matt on the good/bad news. I hate to see any vacant place downtown, but South Broadway has a number of them as well as the car dealership as you mentioned. Has the city ever tried a comprehensive plan? I know there are beautification efforts, but what about helping the businesses survive? I don't know the answer, but I'd like the city to try something.



The South Broadway area from Kaydeross Creek to West Fenlon is essentially zoned for Single Family Homes & two acre lots, with the current commercial properties (grandfathered) zoned as 'general business.' Our Comprehensive plan is from 2002, when the general consenus was to severely restrict development in the outskirts, and have 'green' gateways to the City, with no commercial development. The idea was that relaxing the zoning in those areas would make them like Wilton and destroy the Greenbelt. This makes it extremely difficult to try to start (or keep) businesses functioning in this area. From West Fenlon is T-4 and T-5 zoning, which is more densly urban that what is there now. Multiple stories, residential/commercial and close to the street. The Hilton Garden Inn is the only 'new' building that attempts to meet that zoning requirement. Also makes it tough to build or grow a business in that area. As you may know McDonald's is trying to rebuild their restaurant and is having difficulty because of minimum height (two story) and build-out to the street requirements.

I am not sure how much the general feeling has changed since '02 with what the character of our gateway should be, but economics dictate (in my opinion) that we need to expand these areas to take opportunites for property tax and sales tax...not to 'Wiltonize', but to at least allow for more flexible uses in these areas. With the new reality of GlobalFoundries coming, the City needs to take advantage of all the opportunities this brings, and should be looking at all areas of the Comprehensive plan and reviewing or updating them accordingly. Keep the focus on downtown, but don't forget the outskirts.

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