by Curt Marshall, Springfield
On November 8th, we as a city will be voting on whether or not a development in Galloway Village will be built.
I commend the community in Galloway Village for speaking their mind and advocating for meaningful improvements to their neighborhood. It was solely because of their action that 150 mature trees will be preserved with this development. It is wholly due to their passion that four historic buildings will be saved from demolition. This development creates 75 percent more greenspace than is required entirely as a result of Galloway neighbors’ voices.
I equally applaud the developer for listening to neighborhood opinions and making significant changes based on their feedback. Valid concerns about traffic, pedestrian safety, and stormwater management all contributed to significant changes to the original design of the project.
Will these accommodations satisfy everyone? Of course not. But in a pluralistic community with so many competing interests, it is unrealistic to please everyone. In this case, I think it’s fair to say that neither side got exactly what they wanted. Perfect. Compromise worked.
It is also worth noting that there’s a real risk when we fail to compromise. Today, this development protects 150 mature trees and four historic buildings from demolition. These protections could be lost on November 8th. One can only wonder what the corner of National and Sunshine might look like today had a compromise allowed a B&B to be built in 2016. Today, in Galloway, we have a bird in our hand.
I am voting “Yes” on Question 1 because I believe the necessary and extensive outreach to neighbors and stakeholders was successful — resulting in a design enhancing the quality of place in Galloway.
Curtis Marshall is a resident and business owner in the Rountree Neighborhood.
Ballot Question 1: Developer plans apartments and retail, but opponents warn of dangers to Sequiota Park area