Next week, the developer for the Mesas Logandale project is returning to the community. In a neighborhood meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, another draft of the proposed residential development will be presented for the large open area lying roughly south of Gubler and east of Yamashita in Logandale.
The project faced some pretty stiff opposition in its last go-round about a year ago. But there were also some constructive suggestions given by open and thoughtful community members. These appear to have all been adopted into the newly revised plans. That is encouraging; at least showing that the developer has been listening and is willing to accommodate.
Despite that, there will undoubtedly be many still adamantly opposed to this project. Like last time, this large and vocal group will likely protest the very idea of this planned development, or any other, being built in this neighborhood – or any other.
We have heard such resistance to growth again and again in one public meeting after another. It’s a familiar refrain. With a tear in the eye, people relate how they moved here long ago because Moapa Valley was a certain way that they loved. Now that they’re here, they feel it would be unfair to change it.
Of course, it’s natural for folks to resist change. But this whole line of thinking is fundamentally flawed.
Firstly, those who think this way selfishly surmise that the blessed day they arrived was THE ideal and most perfect moment in the community’s history. They fail to recognize that there was a town here before their arrival that was forever changed, for better or worse, when THEY moved in. Who knows but there may have been a neighbor or two at that time who grumpily viewed THEIR arrival as a similar violation of his perceived right to the status quo? Whose right among them was more valid then? Whose right is more valid today?
Secondly, this line of thought assumes that, if you keep a tight lid on growth, everything you love about town will always stay the same. This is also not true. The Moapa Valley has just experienced nearly a decade of stagnant growth and things have certainly not remained the same. School populations have shrunk and so have educational programs. Local utilities have struggled; their service options and resources slimming while rates have risen. Government services have decreased. Jobs have fled. Roads have crumbled. And what about those treasured small businesses? Oh they have changed, too! We’ve seen many once-beloved mom-and-pops just fold up and disappear. In their place have come large corporate interests with little or no allegiance to the community; putting forth the least possible level of local support, while squeezing out the highest possible profits. That trend has only just begun. People tend to think fondly of the few commercial amenities we have. But it would be a mistake to assume they will be here forever. Another decade of no-growth in the community and, mark our words, many would fall away, one by one, leaving ever fewer local services. Rest assured, change will come one way or another!
Finally, and most importantly, the status-quo-at-all-costs movement would usurp the fundamental ownership rights from respectable local property owners. And when you start down that road, where do you ever draw the line? The Mesas developer has invested significant capital into the community. He has long waited on the market, playing by the rules and dutifully paying property taxes. Now he has every right to seek a return on that investment. When a developer is willing to work responsibly with the community, it should be celebrated as a benefit for all concerned; not pilloried as something despicable or shameful.
Despite the size and energy of the no-growth crowd, there is an equally large, notwithstanding much quieter, group in town that yearns for better economic conditions. Many of these have long watched the horizon for signs of new growth. It’s been a long time coming. These folks need to make themselves heard now! If they are uncomfortable standing up and being counted in public meetings, they must communicate directly with town board members and, more importantly, with their County Commissioner. A brief email to Commissioner Kirkpatrick, even just a couple of sentences expressing support for measured and responsible growth, would go a long way to help her bring economic life and health back to the community. And no matter what anyone says, THAT is a change that is desperately needed now.
The Commissioner’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.