Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dysfunctional Planning

The Shadow Wood Landing Commercial Development is approximately 10 miles from Bayfield, and 12 miles from Cornucopia. This huge commercial development in the midst of forest lands sticks out like a sore thumb in the midst of our rural Town. It is not only inappropriate, but also looks extremely out of place on the Comprehensive Planning map, which was unveiled at the August 11th public Comprehensive Plan open house.

If the Town proposes that the Village of Red Cliff, whose commercial development takes up less than 40 acres of land now, will, in the next 10 years, grow along a 3 mile strip of Highway 13, to within a few miles of the Shadow Wood Landing development, then, perhaps, it won’t look quite so out of place. However, it is ludicrous to believe that Red Cliff commercial needs will expand 20 fold and utilize approximately 720 acres of residential, tribal, and forest lands.

Let’s preserve our premier viewshed and lobby for a clustered commercial village development that would be aesthetically pleasing, and also promote easy vehicular and pedestrian access. Urban planning principles dictate that commercial development should be situated adjacent to towns. To repeat our last post, a competent urban planner could assist with the design of a well thought out, visually appealing and consumer friendly, commercial village design that would appeal to current residents, and promote tourism.

The Town of Russell residents have clearly expressed their preference for maintaining the rural character of the Town. One has to wonder if this substantial change in the Land Use Plan/Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map hasn’t been made to accommodate the extension of sewer service out to the proposed Shadow Wood Landing Development. If this is the Town Board’s hidden agenda, what will the eventual impact be on taxpayers, and on corridor residents who will likely be forced to connect to this line and pay an assessment? Think about it, and ask yourself why the Town is “selling out” our greatest asset to accommodate an out of town developer.

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