Following the opposition met by Council members in the Mississippi Dunes Master Plan approval and prompted by Journal questioning on how everyone can better be heard from various constituencies rural, urban, and farming alike, Mayor Bailey shared his thoughts on how he sees the issues now being faced by the city, reproduced below: “I believe the challenges we have seen recently is more related to property that has been vacant or farm fields for a very long time,” Bailey shared. “People get used to seeing the open space – though all of this zoning has either been in place or in the process of moving in the direction where things are developing, is change. People do not like change. And when you get used to seeing or doing something for so long – knowing a significant change is happening near you – tends to get people upset. I know that. My role as Mayor is to help those who are concerned with growth to see the bigger picture of what is being proposed and to see the benefits of these changes to themselves and the rest of the citizens of Cottage Grove. (Reduced taxes, better services, more amenities, better infrastructure, more restaurants and retail options, etc.)
What we are seeing locally is many of our local farming families are deciding it’s time to sell and divest their properties. They see a demand by housing developers, and a city zoning plan that is conducive to building, so many are selling now and beginning the development process. Again…A lot of the zoning plans have been in place for many years. The change now is driven by willing landowners wanting to sell, a great city that people desire and want to move here to raise their families. All of this will provide more options for retail, restaurants and business growth in our business park.”
For those with a different opinion than the above to share, the Journal does accept Letters to the Editor, which must be signed.