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A good plan for Suffolk

Despite some of what are mostly unfounded complaints from a couple of council members, the “focused-growth” plan presented to Suffolk City Council members at their work session Wednesday is the right road map for our city’s future development.

By increasing densities and driving development to urban, core areas n downtown and the I-664 corridor n the plan works on many levels n reducing traffic and stress on soon-to-be-city maintained roadways by creating walkable communities,

creating a wider range of housing opportunities, making distinctive and more attractive communities, providing a variety of transportation choices, preserving agricultural and open space and ensuring that sprawl does not overtake our community as it has done to neighboring communities.

In addition, while falling short, perhaps, of the expectations of some, the plan opens up a substantial amount of land to the south of downtown to development. It will be several years before what is on the plan will be developed, so officials can look again at that area as the plan is updated.

Further, the costs of the plan to develop the southern part of the city in its reduced form, though still astronomical, are far more manageable than what was originally proposed.

As for a complaint by Councilman Charles Brown that the plan “leaves people of color behind,” the facts just don’t support it. The plan was devised with the best interests of the city and all its residents (regardless of color) in mind. To even suggest otherwise is irresponsible at best.

In short, the focused-growth strategy is exactly what Suffolk needs and we encourage city council to put it on the fast track for adoption.