I've been a champion of development at US75/PGBT, at Galatyn, at Eastside, at Brick Row, and eventually I hope, at old downtown Main Street and along West Spring Valley Rd. But that doesn't mean I'm all in favor of every cockamamie idea for new development anywhere in Richardson. Really, I do draw the line somewhere.
After the jump, examples of misguided development in Richardson.
Perhaps you've noticed the new
The new gas station in the middle of it all is like a wrench in the works. Granted, the abandoned gas station it replaced was no asset either, but at least you could walk through the abandoned gas station without competing with cars. Any new gas station is designed to cater to cars, not shoppers. Gas stations make shopping districts hostile to, well, shoppers. That new gas station is going to be a barrier to integrating retail in that area for another generation.
But so be it. It's there. It's too late to do anything about it. It may not be too late for other plans for ill-advised development elsewhere in Richardson.
One request is for rezoning with special use permit for a gas station at the corner of Spring Valley and Centennial. That's right across the street from the new Brick Row development. Brick Row already has plenty of apartments. What it needs is retail, something to boost that whole neighborhood around the DART station. There'll be thousands of pedestrians getting on and off those trains every day. Why do we need a gas station there to greet them? It's 20th century thinking in a 21st century neighborhood.
The other request is for rezoning for a self-service warehouse with outside vehicle storage (boats, motor homes, etc.) on Arapaho Rd west of Custer Rd. That's right in a shopping center, across the street from a shopping center, just down the street from the Civic Center. A few years ago, the city thought parked boats and motor homes were such an eyesore that the city council passed an ordinance restricting home owners from parking their recreational vehicles at their houses. The city also spent years buying up aging homes across Arapaho Rd from the Civic Center and tearing them down. Why in the world would the city now agree to zoning that would allow a self-service warehouse, with boats and motor homes parked outdoors, to be built in a shopping center, near a residential neighborhood, and just down the street from the Civic Center? Here's another use destined to destroy any hope that this aging retail neighborhood can be revived.
Come on, Richardson. We can do better. Neighborhood revitalization requires smart redevelopment that caters more to people than cars.