I thought about liveblogging tonight’s Council meeting, but I’ve settled instead for watching it from the comfort of my bed.
Everyone in Woodland seems happy about the recent police roundup of crackheads, but too many are just as exercised, breathlessly decrying the "encroachment" of business into our community.
We said NO to a new, upscale shopping center that would have provided a nice accent to our quality of life. We said NO to growing our tax base, keeping more of our sales tax dollars at home. Tonight, it seems like a fair number of Woodlandites have turned out, pre-written speeches in hand, to say NO again.
Sadly, the proposed hotel would be far nicer, far more upscale than any of the adjacent homes. Let’s hope Council shows some backbone and votes, like the Planning Commission, unanimously in favor of Shalish Patel’s Holiday Inn Express.
Jane Miller moves approval, which was seconded. Tom Hayes asks about the center turn lane (Jerry Kuhaida’s referenced "suicide lane"), which does indeed carry traffic in both directions. It does that regardless of whether or not the hotel is approved.
Ellen Smith says she intends to vote against it, but proceeds to ask a number of questions anyway — about sidewalks, about construction access (which will be off Illinois Ave, not through Woodland), about whether the landscaping will be on the hotel’s property, elevation drawings, etc. A lot of questions, from someone whose mind is already made up?
If you’re gonna say no, don’t be unhappy when no business wants to even look in our direction. Don’t complain that your only choice is Wal-Mart. Don’t gripe if all our rowers end up staying (eating, spending their money) in Knoxville. And please, don’t gripe when your only neighborhood business is the crack dealer.
The rezoning passes 4-3, with Golden, Mosby, and Smith voting no.