Story last updated at 2:09 p.m. Thursday, April 25, 2002

Building guidelines needed
Dear Editor,

Am I missing something here? We have a Washington businessman who wants to quickly put up a big metal warehouse in downtown Homer. He doesn't live here. We have a Planning and Zoning Commission composed of volunteer citizens who are doing their best at the thankless job of trying to steer Homer into growing in an attractive and functional manner. These are the people who try to keep junkyards and obnoxious eyesores out of your backyard (or your downtown).

We have a lot of individuals and businesses doing their best to make Homer a more attractive place. We have some exciting potential with the Town Square Project in making downtown Homer both attractive and appealing.

Then we have a group of Realtors signing a letter opposing the efforts of our Planning and Zoning Commission in trying to get some public input before the big-box stores start moving in. This appears to be a case of serious short-sighted tunnel vision on the Realtors' part. I hope enough people with their brights on will look at the bigger picture before it is too late. Having the Realtors oppose this is a bit like the foxes not only wanting no locks on the hen house but wanting the fence around the farm lowered as well. There is nothing wrong with requiring a major building to not be an eyesore. After all, we will all have to look at it for a long time to come. Dealing with the aesthetics of a town is one of the clear cut purposes of planning and zoning.

Wiser heads will realize that an attractive town helps real estate sales in the long run as property values go up. They will also realize that planning and zoning is necessary and desirable for a community to grow attractively. Any attractive town you can think of will probably have way more serious planning and zoning rules than we do. As Homer grows, big box and chain stores will increasingly find this to be an attractive place to come to. Now is the time to get some guidelines in place before we are stuck with something not even the realtors can say something positive about.

Lee Post