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Development, residents’ plight must have balanced approach

June 8, 2008
The Marshalltown City Council has the opportunity to positively impact the future of business development on the community’s south side – an opportunity it should seize, but also not take lightly.

A proposal has been made to build a $2 million four-story for an unknown business that could be the cornerstone of development between the existing Culver’s restaurant and Theisen’s to the west. It’s a plan that could shape retail development in the area, but one that – not unlike most development plans – comes with a price.

The proposal involves clearing many of the mobile homes out of the area behind Culver’s to make room for the new building. Eventually, development in that area could eliminate the entire mobile home park.

We can certainly understand the plight of those living in the mobile home court – no one enjoys unwillingly leaving their home. And the council should certainly work hard to ensure a reasonable plan is developed to assist residents of the mobile home park in finding new homes while balancing the desire for new development.

We can also understand the desires of economic development officials to lure new businesses – whether they are restaurants, hotels or “big box” retailers to the community. Such additions only continue to improve our community’s economy and add jobs – both positive reasons to move forward with the current plan on the table.

We encourage the city council to support the project while also working with residents of the mobile home park to ensure continued positive, healthy growth for our community. In the end, we believe such an approach can lead to a “win-win” situation for all involved – mobile home park residents, the developers and the community.


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