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March 28, 2008


Terrence Berres

"When did we get it in our heads that we can (or should) separate civic and commercial amenities?"

I'm assuming you have a copy of 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' (1961) by Jane Jacobs about. Just reread the Introduction in which she digs through the layers of planning orthodoxies laid down to that point.

John Michlig

Correct, Terrence. Many passages from Jacobs' book are cited in the newly emerging literature on suburbanization.

It's single-purpose ("pod") zoning carried to a destructive extreme.

Josh Strupp

"At the forum, Mayor Taylor claimed 'in recent days and months we are being literally inundated with requests to build commercial development in the Franklin School District.'"

I find this extremely difficult to believe that statement considering the state of affairs over at Fountains of Franklin. You are telling me that hundreds of commercial developers are knocking on Mayor Taylor's door when FOF can't seem to get anything better than a Dairy Queen to locate there?

Furthermore, if Franklin is such a hotbed for commercial development, how come we haven't seen just 1 of these developers take John's advice and purpose (or even consider) a TND plan to date?

John Michlig

This "high interest" is also counter to the opinion some have that developers shy away from Franklin for fear of "over-regulation."

Developers - WORTHY developers - shy away from INDECISIVE municipalities. Make your vision clear and developers will become PARTNERS rather than the opposition.

Greg Kowalski

Well when a Mayor of a community doesn't even know what or where his community's downtown, or central, area should be, we got a problem.

John Michlig

I feel the situation is very possibly correctable with the election of one or more "fresh" alderpersons this time around.

Bryan Maersch

I am opting for the New City Hall being built as an annex to the new Super Wally-mart.

Janet Evans

Regarding Josh's comment...I personally sat down with Mayor Taylor and asked him directly why approval of development is so slow in Franklin. I know a developer, personally, who informed me of a few issues. Many developers are going elsewhere because they do not want to wait the length of time Franklin is making them wait for approvals. They can get things going in neighboring communities in just a couple months.

Mayor Taylor told me it's all about having solid ordinances in Franklin and also about quality.

I agree we want to have quality and follow ordinances. Who wouldn't? But the impression I walked away with from the meeting was that we have so many people who want to develop in Franklin...that we can take our sweet time.

Well, the developer I know, who talks with other developers, is turned off regarding Franklin....They can't wait and take their time...they want to make money. Who knows what we are losing? Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad...

I would like to know exactly what the Mayor is looking for...exactly...Eventually, we're going to lose something really good...

John Michlig

This whole "developers have moved on" idea is almost urban legend in Franklin. If another Dairy Queen moves on, who cares? The mayor is in no position to be naming names, but I'm sure he's gently "disencouraged" certain developments. At least I HOPE so.

My concern is that Franklin lacks the critical focus (and an enabled Plan Staff) that a VISIONARY developer seeks and needs in order to propose and create the sorts of projects that elevate a city.

John Michlig

To expand on the above: We need to make ourselves clear and get it right ON THE FRONT END rather than let an over-accommodating council rubber-stamp everything to a stage where needed changes are a big problem to the developer. THAT'S what's happening now because the Plan Staff is not allowed to do its job.

Janet Evans

Well, I can't argue with that, John.

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