The words “public hearing” are usually synonymous with “public debate.” Whenever a major change in the community is going to take place, there are always clear divisions between those who are for, and those against, the change. Neighbors turn on each other, vying to have their wishes met, but in the end, one side always ends up disappointed.
Then there comes along a developer who single-handedly changes everything, leaves reporters speechless and even manages to surprise the entire city council.
This is precisely what happened at a public hearing on March 27 to discuss a rezoning application for development at Dimple Dell.
Darren Nate, the developer who applied for the rezone that was being discussed, stood and laid out his plans for the proposed area. He explained that this new zoning would serve the community by providing “quality housing in a great location.” The area being discussed is located at approximately 10700 South and 1700 East, and the plans for the space include private yards for each home, multiple gathering areas and plenty of open public space.
Nate then proceeded to discuss various issues that the residents in the neighborhood next to the proposed development area had, and what he had done to address those issues. Several pairs of eyes grew wide as he named off each item that had been adjusted on behalf of the residents. Nate had even held meetings with the neighbors to personally hear and address their apprehensions.
Once Nate finished addressing the council, it was time for the residents to speak.
Carey Wright, who lives just west of the development area, was the first to stand and speak. Imagine the surprise that filled the faces of the council members as Wright informed the them how Nate had truly listened to them and felt that the proposed rezone should be approved.
Next to stand was Jeff Richardson, whose home is south of the area.
Richardson has lived in his home for 28 years, and he too stood to commend the developer for his willingness to respect the lives of those who live in his neighborhood.
The room fell silent. Nobody else stood to speak, and it soon became clear that every resident in attendance was there to support Nate and his proposed development.
If there were residents opposed to the development, none appeared at the hearing to voice their concerns.
The hearing was truly remarkable, and beautifully illustrated the occurrences that can take place when people are heard and respected.
Developers are often despised for the changes they bring, but Nate took the time to hear the residents; they, in turn, did the same for him. Rather than turning on the developer and each other, these neighbors came together in solidarity with the developer and proved that there really is such a thing as a win-win situation.