Community Takes Battle Over New City Market to City Planning Commission

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The community battle over the construction of a new city market shopping center continued Tuesday night, as the City Planning Commission voted on whether or not to recommend the proposal to City Council.

Residents packed City Hall as they continued to argue how the eight acre lot at the intersection of 12th and Patterson should be used.

Right now, the city has set it aside for residential purposes only. Developers, however, want the city to make a zoning change so the plot can be used for commercial purposes too.

Supporters say the shopping center would be extremely convenient to residents in the area and give them a place to walk and enjoy a meal.

"That lot has stayed empty for so many years," said Sandy Randall, a resident of Patterson St. "It's an eye sore and something needs to happen on that lot to make it more attractive for our city."

Opponenets say there are enough grocery stores in the area, and they would rather see the lot be used as a park.

"When you bring seven thousand extra cars per day, we don't know who's in our community," said Pat Verstraete, a resident of Wellington Ave. "Our communities may not be safe after this.

The Planning Commission voted in favor of the shopping center, saying they feel it is the best way to use the land.

Now that a recommendation has been made, the proposal must still be approved by City Council before the zoning change can happen. They have voted down that same proposal twice since 1999.

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