All Belle Plaine residents should read the Destination Belle Plaine 2040 publication on the city website. It is the blueprint and guide for our city administration and city council on the direction and goal of our city for the next 20 years. It states that we want well designed, attractive and compatible housing that fits the neighborhood. We want affordable housing that will be located strategically and be sensitive to preserving the beauty and character of our existing neighborhood. Our goal is to nurture neighborhoods with high quality compatible housing.
If the city council approves the affordable housing apartment building on Elk Street South it will directly contradict their own publication that we expect our civic leaders to follow.
I have visited affordable housing units built by Schrom Construction. Believe me, we do not want this structure to be the focal point of our city. Affordable housing will never enhance the beauty and character of any existing neighborhood.
Our city leaders shouldn’t jeopardize representing our current citizens while planning for the future. Our water and sewer bills still reflect the last time we tried to predict the future.
Negative outcomes from the location of affordable housing are often related to increased traffic flow, added costs to schools, decreasing property values, increased demands on municipal services such as police, fire and ambulance service, concerns about developer quality, safety and security, environmental impacts and contrary changes to the town character.
Opposition from neighbors and other town residents can be constructive even under contentious circumstances.
Location and improvements in development design can result in higher levels of acceptance. It will increase harmony between proposed and existing development and identify the potential prevention of complications.
All residents should be aware that this developer may ask the city for $950,000 to help finance this questionable proposal.
At the May 20th public hearing, the mayor and two councilmen admitted they “wouldn’t want that in my backyard either!” I have always believed that a true leader never asks anyone to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves.