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Decatur Mayor: We Should Annex Suburban Plaza

In his state of the city speech, Mayor Bill Floyd said Decatur should annex Suburban Plaza and commercial space at the intersection of Clairmont and North Decatur roads to better control development there.

Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd said he's uneasy about . In his State of the City speech last week, he said he's got a plan to influence what happens there in the future.

He wants to annex it, according to Decatur Metro

Floyd said he wants to annex Suburban Plaza and commercial space at the intersection of Clairmont and North Decatur roads so that Decatur residents will have input and influence over how that area continues to develop.

Floyd went so far as to question the intentions of Walmart and Selig Enterprises, Suburban Plaza's owner.

From a section of his address posted on Decatur Metro:

But the main problem with the property, if the Wal-Mart is built, is what might happen to the rest of the site. What might future developments look like? The owner of that property has shown little concern or interest in our community or anything outside of the property lines. Historically, empty promises are provided to make a development acceptable or palatable, but we have little or no reason to believe that any promises might come true. Those of us who live around that property will have no input into any future development on the site.

Interesting turn here. What do you think about Floyd's hopes to annex that land into Decatur? Does it make sense? Is it too aggressive? Or is it just what residents need to make sure Decatur's sense of place is secured? Tell us in the comments section below.

Victoria Webb April 08, 2012 at 12:46 PM
The Decatur legislative team built up the city without resorting to low tactics, like allowing a super-store to exist no matter what. No matter that thousands of small businesses have gone under over two decades in the wake of Walmarts coming into a neighborhood - whether it's rural or urban. And furthermore, a chain that wants to gain 30% of the grocery market share in any region should be approached with real trepidation, if not anti-trust legislation. But I guess what some people want is low cost product at any cost - to the worker, to the environment and to the economy. No thanks, I'll take regulations by smart city planners any day. Developers are always requesting variances to in place ordinances that were developed to safeguard a neighborhood's integrity. Aesthetics are definitely a part of that. We might also remember that cultural and historic/heritage tourism is currently the biggest economic draw for many states. The shopping plaza could be updated to be retro - what better way to honor its memory? And that's a less expensive and potentially dangerous 'fix', than to demolish a probable asbestos laden site.
Deanne April 08, 2012 at 02:58 PM
ChakraTease- I believe Victoria is simply saying that she likes what she hears coming out of Bill Floyd's mouth. (She doesn't seem to realize that the "mayor" title is mostly ceremonial. City Manager Peggy Merriss and our City Folks should definitely receive the credit for their hard work. True, the commissioners play a valuable role, but it's the City team who comes up with the game plan for tackling Strategic Plan goals, then goes all out to make it happen.)
Deanne April 08, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Heck, a few more hard rains and Last Chance's ceiling will collapse, making it much easier to fit in that retro carousel you're wanting in your redesign. (Hope there's no probable asbestos dripping down in the meantime.)
Victoria Webb April 08, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Deanne - I know the city officials well. Lyn Menne came into the city over a decade ago and brought music and art festivals in to help build awareness. The wonderful Linda Harris in community development has been around forever too, as has city manager Merriss. Mayor Floyd has been instrumental in developing ordinances to restrict development that doesn't fit with the city's urban and historic tone. The various teams have worked together for sometimes, 30 years. I'd advise everyone who's interested in their city to take the Decatur 101 program. It's free and will give you a better idea of just how things are run in local governing.
Deanne April 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Also helpful and free: Attend Commission Meetings (or view on tv), Zoning Board Meetings, etc.; participate in community workshops held for specific projects; explore www.decaturga.com for tons of good info; use online Open City Hall; read Decatur Focus; stay up to date via your neighborhood's association and listserv; and seek info from the City Folks and commissioners directly.

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