Triple S selling out

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By The Staff

Recent activity on the part of developers by the Triple S Planning and Zoning Board is a direct slap in the face to every citizen they are supposed to serve. I refer to the regulations regarding buffers and landscaping, adopted only two years ago, which are designed to provide protection to established neighborhoods, shielding them from the unsightly appearance of new developments, as well as to provide shading and green space, lessen the inevitable increases in noise and pollution due to added traffic, and offer at least some beneficial balance against the tide of urban encroachment.

This effort by Triple S to undermine the interests of the majority of citizens and homeowners is the result of a push by a handful of developers, backed by the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation. Their claim that current regulations are unreasonably stringent and "scare away" prospective new businesses ignores the very reason for such regulations, mainly that they provide balance to the system. If potential developments are abandoned over the mere costs of landscaping (which, in reality, are minimal compared to the hefty profits developers are reaping at the expense of the community and the taxpayers), so be it. This would simply mean less of our once pristine region would be covered by concrete and asphalt, and our schools and highways would be less overcrowded. As for businesses which look at Shelby County hoping to further erode its rural beauty with little or no control, who wants them here in the first place?

The past 30 years has seen the quality of life in Shelbyville and Shelby County steadily deteriorate as a direct result of excessive development. While the few who benefit from this growth are ever professing the necessity for it and the inevitability of it, the reality of the burdens such growth places on a community are ignored. Yet, we have only to look at the myriad problems development has caused in neighboring counties, as well as our own, to see the negative impact it brings.

According to the January 9 edition of the Sentinel-News, Triple S has already agreed to abandon current regulations, despite the fact that a recent poll showed 76 percent of the people oppose such an action.

Positions with Triple S are not elective offices. The members are appointed, and thus do not have to answer to the voters. But those who appoint them do. It's clear that the majority of the present Triple S members are concerned only with the interests of the developers, and the demands of the Industrial and Development Foundation. It's also clear that it is long past time those who make the appointments to Triple S make some changes.

If enough citizens who are able to attend show up at the January 22 Triple S meeting (the buffer and landscaping workshop), we may be able to make a difference. Personally, I don't feel the current buffer requirements are strong enough. Protecting the interests of those who live here is a far more important duty of Triple S than making things easier on the developers whose work is spreading like a cancer across this community.

Lyndon G. Stivers,