Editorial: Planning commission shows balance between working with owners, protecting community

Economic development often isn’t easy. On one hand those involved in development efforts want to try and encourage investors, yet on the other they need to ensure plans and policies are being followed so the community is protected as well.

A case in point this week could be found at the Alpena Planning Commission. There, commissioners approved an extension for Freedom Motors of a special land use permit. However, the extension is not open-ended, comes with stipulations and contains provisions that if requirements are not met by certain time periods, the permit could be revoked.

It gives the dealership owners a fair time to get their finances in order and begin the renovations they hope to do at the former JJ’s Garden Center on Washington. Conversely, should provisions set by the planning commission not be met, then effectively the project would come to a close and the dealership would be out of options.

It seems to us city planning commission members are trying to work with the owners and be fair in allowing them time to work through some hurdles, yet at the same time protect the integrity of the neighborhood involved.

We believe the board’s action was fair for everyone and demonstrates the tough decisions planners and developers often are faced with.