Friday, September 5, 2014

Richardson Misses the Harvest

From 2014 06 28 Vancouver
Farmer's Market in Vancouver, British Columbia

The farmers market season isn't over, not by a long shot, as farmers gear up with fall crops. There's still plenty of end-of-summer produce, too, such as yellow and zucchini squash, some tomatoes, okra, eggplant, peas and peppers. Fall crops coming on include greens, such as arugula and bok choy, as well as cool-weather squashes such as spaghetti and butternut.
When it comes to big projects, Richardson gets things done (not always the right things, but at least something). Whether it's CityLine, Palisades Village, State Farm, or Raytheon, if the project is big, Richardson finds a way to move ahead and get it done. This is true even when there is significant opposition to the projects from the surrounding neighborhoods.

But when it comes to small, neighborhood-sized things, Richardson seems to drop the ball. Even when the neighbors are on board, Richardson kills popular ideas or bogs them down with red tape.

After the jump, the latest example.

While all the farmer's markets in all the surrounding cities are going strong, peaking with fall harvests, this is the headline out of Richardson: Richardson council tables farmer market proposal until October.

The farmer's market in question is a proposal by Four Seasons Markets to expand their operations in Richardson. They already operate a European-style market on Campbell Rd on Saturdays and want to serve the Richardson Heights shopping center on Sundays. The local neighborhood association is not only on board with the proposal, they are enthusiastic about it. You'd think this would be a no-brainer for the city council: tell the neighbors the city is on their side; ask Four Seasons Markets what obstacles the city can clear for them; and grant the special use permit to get this up and running while the growing season is still going. Instead..."Richardson council tables farmer market proposal until October."

What happens in October? We know for sure the harvest will be just about done. We don't know what the city council will come up with. The ordinance being developed behind closed doors is less likely to welcome an expansion of Four Seasons Markets to Richardson Heights than it is to make it and the existing Four Seasons Markets on Campbell Rd impractical to continue.

Richardson does big things efficiently. It's the small things, the things that nurture and reinforce our neighborhoods, that Richardson seems to trip and stumble over.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other cities that will be glad to take our business. Check out that Dallas Morning News article for a list of farmer's markets in the area.

1 comment:

Admonkey said...

Missed Fall '14? Call me an optimist, but I'm reasonably sure there will be another harvest in the Spring and Summer of '15. End of the world? Nah. Comparing a deal with Raytheon with missing a quarter-season harvest (especially when a deal with Raytheon would be years in the making) is a false equivalence. But you probably knew that already.