Letter: Greenwood City Council voting against growth

To the editor:

I was quite disturbed after reading the article in the Dec. 17 Daily Journal about the Greenwood City Council denying the request from Goodwill Industries to build a warehouse and retail center on Emerson Avenue in Greenwood (“Goodwill warehouse project denied”).

Brent Corey is so confident that Emerson Avenue is not the place for a warehouse that will bring in 60 jobs as well as tax dollars to Greenwood.

Although this has been an area targeted for stores or office buildings, nothing has happened since that zoning change in 2004.The other businesses along Emerson Avenue or Greenwood Springs Boulevard had no complaints about the distribution center.

In fact, the Greenwood Plan Commission had no concerns and unanimously recommended the change to the council. It looked at the Goodwill facility as an opportunity for jobs and new property taxes for the city. Ezra Hill and Ron Bates voted in favor of the zoning change. It appears they had a vision of more jobs and taxes for the community.

Since the land has some restrictions, a pipeline running through part of the property and other environmental issues (the area was previously a fuel storage site), it is difficult to see anything else happening to that portion of the land.

According to Bill Peeples, this is the first project proposed for that piece of property since 2008. So why is the council so against growth?

It appears that this particular piece of land is difficult to “sell” to commercial venues. It was industrial until 2004, when it was changed to make way for a new development that never happened. So, doesn’t that tell you something? Ten years later, still nothing.

Goodwill’s proposed plan placed the warehouse sufficiently away from Emerson Avenue, allowing other commercial/retail or office spaces to be built, keeping the visual from Emerson Avenue in line with Mr. Corey’s desire.

Although Greenwood wants more office buildings and shops along Emerson Avenue, wanting doesn’t always make it happen. Despite Corey’s statement that, “Someone is going to want to build there,” the several-year vacancy gap doesn’t seem to support that.

It is not as though we have commercial/retail/offices knocking on our door. If that were the case, why has the former Marsh building on U.S. 31 been vacant for so long? Why have potential business ventures at County Line Road and Interstate 65 not materialized? (e.g. Cabela’s and the sports complex?)

Turning down businesses wanting to set up shop and bring in jobs seems contrary to “building Greenwood.” I personally welcome more taxpaying businesses and jobs to the area to reduce my tax burden to supplement the multimillion-dollar aquatic park that we don’t need.

John A. Peters