It can happen here
June 24, 2001
A developer in the city of Ridgeland announced last week he will build a $100 million project in that city, blending a complete project with homes, shopping, commercial space and many other amenities.
It could also happen here.
As they move into detailed consideration of a proposal to make residential development more attractive inside the city limits, members of the Meridian Planning Commission should adopt a "can do" attitude. Surely, they can find a reasonable way to eliminate barriers to development in our city.
The good news coming from a commission work session the other day is that members seem to be taking the Grow Meridian proposal more seriously. It would offer reasonable incentives to developers to build new houses inside the city. Developers and the city would effectively become partners in an endeavor that could help Meridian add population and expand the tax base.
The bad news is that only three of the nine members of the planning commission bothered to attend the work session, where the basic issues were explained again. How they will vote should the issue come to a vote is anybody's guess.
The bottom line is that citizens who do not wish to participate in a commission on which they hold membership should just opt out. New, more concerned and involved people should take their place.
We encourage Mayor John Robert Smith and members of the city council to take a close look at the city's planning commission membership as it currently exists. They might consider reducing the size of the commission, check attendance records of past meetings, and get a clear picture of what the commission is doing, or leaving undone. The mayor should also consider nominating a developer for membership. If they want to retain the commission at nine members, the mayor should immediately nominate or make other selections for the two members whose terms have expired.
We continue to believe the commission has a good opportunity to begin a process leading to what many community leaders say they want more housing in the city.