No easy answers in zoning and growth plans

Published 9:47 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sometimes, easy answers just aren’t found.

That seems to be the lesson learned as planners and city leaders consider a long-range plan for zoning and growth here in Troy. At issue, for many residents, is the need to protect the integrity of single-family neighborhoods while allowing for a growth in rental property, particularly in areas close to Troy University.

Ironically, it’s a good problem to have. The conflict stems from a need for more student and rental housing, a demand driven primarily by the growth at Troy University. As enrollment increases, so do housing demands.

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And, capitalism being what it is, folks with an eye for making money are going to find a way to turn property into profit.

So what’s a city to do?

In the case of Highland Avenue, the suggestion seems to be to seek a compromise. The pressing concern on Highland is the future of the street … an area described by both sides of the debate as “in transition.” Longtime residents struggle to keep out rental property, which is prolific, thanks to the proximity to the university.

It’s a dilemma that prompts strong feelings on both sides of the debate and provides a microcosm of the larger issues that our community will face.

Residents will have a chance to voice their opinions, though, on Oct. 2, when the city hosts a public hearing to debate the issue.

The hearing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the recreation center.

It is the time for everyone who has an interest in the issue and in the future of zoning in Troy to take part.

We encourage you to mark your calendars and plan to attend the hearing.