Driving through Louisville and seeing the smattering of “Yes” and “No” signs saddens me that there is yet one more thing to divide us! I respect those who are voting No, but here is why I am voting YES.
The upcoming election is a choice between the Redtail Ridge and the ConocoPhillips Plan. The “No” folks will tell you this really isn’t a choice between A & B. They’re partially correct: either way this election goes, the developer (Brue Bakoul) will need to come back to work with the council to review each individual parcel of the GDP (General Development Plan). More conversations will indeed need to be held either way. But these are the two GDP’s we have to work with. The developer is not going to spend any more time or money submitting a new GDP. A GDP is like a skeletal framework within which the development will occur.
A group of Louisville residents have been working diligently for the past few years with the Council and our city committees to ask the developer for specific benefits to the city. The developer gave the city everything they asked for, but none of these are guaranteed under the ConocoPhillips plan. My favorites include:
- 93 acres of Public Land (open space, parks, recreation fields, and trails). The Open Space Committee identified space that would be most ideal as public land, and the developer gave them exactly what they wanted. This land was once commercially developed space, so there’s a limited amount that would be suited for this type of use.
- Prioritized expansion of Campus Drive to be completed on the developer’s dime by summer of 2023. Could this occur if the No vote wins? Probably. But we have no idea when. As a Monarch parent for 11 years, I love that this plan, if approved, will get this road completed by next summer.
- Avista Hospital wants to stay in Louisville but voting “No” forces them back into a costly and time-consuming rezoning process that pushes Avista to the back of the line. RTR is already zoned for Avista’s new home, but not the ConocoPhillips plan. Again, could Avista move to this space if the No’s win? Sure. It would just make it less desirable, as it would take more time and money.
Some people have said the YES initiative is simply the developer disguised as a grassroots effort. The developer did contribute to this campaign (which is to be expected) but the YES for Louisville effort includes more than 130 residents who have publicly put their names behind it. And I’m proud to include mine.
Tam Dalle Molle
Louisville Resident & Former Fireside PTO President