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Growth vs. preservation

Thursday night, the city of Glencoe’s Planning and Industrial Commission turned down a proposed preliminary plat for Phase II of Glenview Estates. Monday night, the City Council upheld that recommendation on a 3-2 vote.
The planning commission’s vote was unanimous; the City Council’s was a split vote. At both Thursday night’s planning commission hearing and Monday’s council meeting, there was a desire to both promote housing in Glencoe and to allay the concerns of neighbors in the area where the proposed plat was to take place.
We are all well aware that the housing market has been pretty much flat-lined since about 2007, with just an occasional blip here and there to give a glimmer of hope of revival.
That’s a decade of very few housing starts after nearly a decade when a whole host of residential subdivisions were being proposed and developed. When the housing market crashed, many of those plans were put on the back burner or abandoned all together.
Now, there are indicators that the housing market is on its way back up. Seeing that slight uptick in interest, the city of Glencoe wisely conducted a housing study to make sure it was developing the right kind of housing to meet the demands of the slowly resurrecting market.
Experts are saying that the market is trending toward streamlined homes on smaller lots, as affordability is key as the economy slowly edges it way out of the Great Recession.
And while the folks who built homes in Glenview Estates back in the 2000s recognize that the market may have changed in the interceding years, they still wonder if those new trends will blend into an area of larger single-family homes on larger lots.
Neither the planning commission nor the City Council want to discourage housing, but nor do they want to discount the concerns of those who invested in the community a decade or more ago.
It was encouraging to hear comments at both the planning commission hearing and at the council meeting encouraging the idea of keeping Glenview’s proposal on the front burner. The commission asked the developer to try to address the neighbors’ concerns. Mayor Randy Wilson encouraged a joint sit-down session with the commission, city council and the developer to see if they can’t come up with some solutions.
We hope that happens. If the discussions continue in the civil manner in which they started, we have no doubt that a compromise can be found that will prove to be satisfactory, if not ideal, to all.