Last month, Davidson Town Hall postponed the looming decision on its planned sale of the 19 acre town owned property on Beaty Street - a property the Town has owned for decades. The plan on the table would sell the property to a group named Davidson Development Partners for a high density mixed use project called "The Luminous".
To that end, tomorrow night, Wednesday May 17th, the Town will hold a round table discussion from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church’s Congregation House (218 Concord Road).
The idea behind the delay and this one last comment opportunity was to convince the public that Town Hall truly cares about public input by allowing one more opportunity for the public to give that input. But make no mistake about it, if the public doesn't show up, the Town will sell this property, and it will bring significantly more density and traffic to this already congested area.
It won't matter that just this past week Mooresville's Planning Board approved a rezoning supporting massive development just down the road from the Beaty Street site. It won't matter that hundreds of local residents have joined on Facebook to oppose the sale of the land and to propose alternatives. It won't matter that the recent National Citizen Survey shows scores for Davidson Town Hall dropping like a rock.
If people don't take a couple of hours and show up Wednesday evening to tell the Town "the Luminous is not for us", this Town Board is very likely approve it and move forward.
Why don't the above things matter when they so obviously should? Why would the Town proceed in the face of them?
The reason is simple. Your government goes to those who show up.
If the Davidson public doesn't show up on Wednesday, then Davidson Town Hall will do what it wants. They've proven time and again that is how they operate. Staff and elected officials will say "silence is acceptance" even though the facts on the ground say otherwise.
Do not let them off the hook so easy.
Bonus Observation: Mayoral candidate Laurie Venzon has officially made this decision an election year issue - posting this to Facebook on Saturday.
"Great tour of the Beaty St property this morning. Sure hope the town board rethinks the current proposal. It's way too much development for this area."
Staking out that position just before the vote could make things interesting.