There is so much wrong with those statements, I don't know where to begin. Once again, opinions are coming out of Rowlett "officialdom" without any basis in fact. The project being discussed in the above referenced project is a multi-family residential building containing 77 units. When I first learned of this project several weeks ago, it was my opinion that because of the close proximity to the hospital, the project would be deed restricted to senior citizens. However, that has not yet been determined. It possibly could go into the open market. Another "unknown" or "undiscussed" topic was whether the project is a rental project or a condominium project. What price ranges? Subsidized? Surely, the developer has some thoughts on these subjects. I'm sure the questions have been asked by staff. Why aren't they in the staff report? Why bother with the heighth of buildings if its going to be a project that will have very stiff opposition? I think staff and P&Z did not want to get into that discussion.
Citizens should be told these features in the staff reports. I can't believe such important details were omitted. Bad PR?? However, that doesn't mean the project can't be good for the area and for Rowlett. It depends on a number of things. It's my personal opinion that condos for seniors are the better choice, given considerations for traffic, noise, and pride of ownership. However, I do not know the marketing stats for that particular market. There might not be 77 senior families wanting to live in Rowlett.
Under no circumstances would I compare Rowlett to Detroit. Detroit is in Michigan and Rowlett is in Texas. The two cultures are so different, they could be in different countries, maybe hemispheres. That makes a tremendous difference in each city's marketplaces. Back in its heyday, I did some business in Detroit. I think their population was about 1.7 million at the time. They had some incredibly wealthy suburbs, like Southfield. Detroit's population has now dropped to about 800,000. The situation in Detroit is dire. However, many of Detroit's wealthy suburbs are still in quite good condition. Southfield remains very nice and it's economy is fine. Michigan, as a state, is coming back economically. On the other hand, we still read the newspapers about Detroit and we see the photographs of the deteriorated housing. All the adverse news articles are about intercity Detroit.......exactly the location of most of Detroit's higher density housing . Detroit's problems are intertwined with very poor city management. Rowlett is not intercity Dallas.
Rowlett exists in the wide open spaces of Texas, and Detroit across a bridge from Canada and across the state of Michigan from Chicago. I probably can't think of a more unlkely comparison. The two cultures are like oil and water. I am not against some urban type projects. When done well in urban settings, like our downtown, it can be quite charming.........but it's not for everyone. I would like to see the product come to Rowlett..........but not everywhere. There still should be choices. For some reason, much of officialdom feels high density solves all problems. Townhomes, condos, and wide open spaces do not mix well. Anybody remember the I-30 fiascos? It was forcing a market that didn't exist. It set the stage for additional problems.
The P&Z Chairman's comments remind me of an earlier Rowlett city regime. If I didn't know better, I would have thought those comments would have been spoken by our previous city manager. The words were chosen for effect, not accuracy. That's a style I recognize. Such statements are spouted out to further the idea that Rowlett needs office buildings, warehouses, industrial parks and urban, townhouse living, even though many people move to Rowlett to escape urban living. The previous city manager resigned July 25th. It is reasonable to conclude that some disciples remain. There must be a particularly good brand of Kool-Aid available in Roweltt. The Chairman of the P&Z Commission is running for City Council.
I have a story I want to write about this "statement for effect" concept and Rowlett 2020. It will be in my next post. Boy!! Wylie, Sachse, Murphy, and Rockwall don't even have a 2020 program like we do!! They are really going to be surprised when they end up like Detroit........based on commentary coming out of Rowlett "officialdom." I would be perfectly happy with some data proving up some of these claims. I would be first to admit I was wrong if someone proved it instead of making reckless, unsubstantiated claims.