One of the route proposals is that the new toll road pass thru the North Shore area of Rowlett. Rowlett's "officialdom" is reported by our local newspaper to be all "giddy" about that. Frankly, I don't think all of them are. I think one or two might recognize the potential problem that I am about to discuss here.
One of the routes being discussed connects with the Bush Toll Way somewhere between Merritt Road and Rowlett's northern boundary near the billboards on the west side of the Bush Toll Way. That sounds great, but what if there is no access other than that? It would appear that the private company wanting to build the toll way does not want to spend any more money than they have to. Therefore, I have been told no service roads and no access roads. If true, North Shore will have been more further isolated than it already is. Most of the acreage of North Shore is not serviced by access roads or frontage roads. Any development north of Merritt Road will have to bare the burden of paying for access thru private lands. This deprives land from production and certainly adds to the development cost. Because of this, and our city's insistence that only offices and warehouses can be developed in North Shore, it will be many, many years before any development will take place. If a new toll road is built, it will create another barrier between the dissected portions of North Shore and the two halves will be even more difficult to develop.
Now, property owners have their rights and I am all for them. I want them to make money. I think the property owners that sell their land to the toll road builders will do fine, and that is good. However, from a tax payer point of view, look what happens: 1) The acreage under which the toll road will be built will be taken off the tax base. This land will become no longer taxable. 2) The land immediately adjacent to the new toll road will have been devalued because of no access. The timing of the development of the adjacent land would have been pushed far into the future. Therefore, no increase in the tax base for many years. For all practical purposes, the poorly accessible land in North Shore would be removed from the Rowlett growth plan and it can not be relied on for any foreseeable increase in the tax base. Any plans estimating a faster timeline would be silly.
My view is, if you help us, we'll help you. We'll help you make a profit, if you help us with our tax base. If the toll road builders come into Rowlett and take our tax base potential, make a profit off it, and leave us with table scraps, I would suggest to the toll road builders that we might "have a go." If we allow the toll road builders to build the toll road with no access, we'll be worse off than we are now. We would lose money. It would be worth a fight.
Let me repeat. I am for the new toll road, if we have access. I am against it if we don't. If we don't get access, we are repeating the miscue that was made on the Bush Toll Way. The mark of an intelligent person is that they learn from their mistakes.
There is a website. I don't know much about it. I just discovered it. It first sounds like it is an anti-toll road website, but I'm not sure that it is. However, it seems to be a good place to get information. The link is below.
I'm going to try to go to the Thursday night meeting. If I learn anything, I'll let you know. I am going to continue some research about this.