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Approving apartments is a smart move

Posted: March 12, 2013 - 11:10pm

Some apartment complexes are more equal than others.

That’s the message county commissioners are sending in the approval of an apartment complex that will allow a Lincoln, Neb., developer to bring in a 130-unit complex to the privately owned portion of Marshall Square.

But, you might ask, aren’t some of these the same commissioners who fought tooth and nail a few years ago to prevent changes that would allow other apartments in the central Evans development – so much that they settled a lawsuit by spending millions of taxpayer dollars to buy a chunk of the property?

True. But there’s no hypocrisy here. Instead, there’s a pragmatic, low-risk move toward bringing more residents to the town center.

The facility, to be called Marshall Square, will be restricted to seniors age 55-older. What’s more, a restriction on the zoning will prevent the owners from selling the property to allow the apartments to become a garden-variety apartment complex. It’ll be for single and married seniors attracted to the facility’s “all-incluse” lifestyle, many of them active retirees who’ll bring immediate economic impact to the middle of Evans without putting a burden on schools or law enforcement as regular apartments are blamed for doing.

A recent study shows Columbia County is attracting more retirees, and needs to do more to make homes and amenities available. This complex is a small step in that direction, and will be a welcome boost to Marshall Square and to our community.

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