In regard to Pat Glover's June 3 letter ("With elections ahead, why not ask voters to decide town center rules?"), we don't need to vote on the Evans Town Center; the ordinances are in place. Just enforce them.
Jeri Whitworth also wrote a letter to the editor May 13 concerning the outdoor displays at some of the stores in the Evans town center ("Outdoor display prohibition should not be 'eroded' for big-box stores").
She hit the nail right on its head.
I happen to have had the pleasure to serve on the original committee to study the idea of a town center. Glenn Coyne was the director of Planning and Development at the time, and we met at the Evans Towne Centre and walked to 4355 Washington Road to see if you could walk on a sidewalk from one area to the other without getting in the road.
Kendall Jones became director of Planning, and she pushed for the ETC. The Planning Commission had worked very hard developing plans on how the ETC would look and what area it would cover. All these plans were turned over to the County Commission, and it took them right at three years to get the proper rules into place.
Jeff Browning had become the director of Planning at this time and he tried very hard to get the ordinances into place. During this time period a retail store at 4388 Washington Road was built, and today it is a mess compared to the rest of the area (with sidewalk sales and containers in the open).
When the ordinances were finally into place, the big-box stores showed their interest in coming to the ETC. The developer of this land worked very hard to make sure that all the rules were followed and even surpassed them in some cases.
The store was built and all the tractors, fertilizers, etc., appeared in front of the store. The code enforcement people wanted to enforce the ordinance until the manager of the store got to the county commissioners and they asked the code enforcement staff to back off. If the ETC gets junkie, it is not code enforcement but the county commissioners who have allowed the ordinances to be broken.
How do I know all of this? I had the pleasure of serving on the Planning and Development Commission for eight years when all of this was happening.
Edgar R. Pund
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