On a recent drive through Soldotna, I counted a few (meaning three or four) attractive buildings. A similar exercise in Homer revealed several businesses with nice siding, handcrafted signs, and flowers, banners or other artistic features to add to the appearance.
Homer's nice buildings were designed by choice rather than by laws, and I commend local businesses for putting in the extra resources to keep Homer looking nice. A few notable features include the recently remodeled Homer Mercantile, The Homer Bookstore and Bay Realty; the eclectic motifs on CafE Cups and The Fringe; and the handcrafted signs at the college, Timeless Toys and Smoky Bay Natural Foods. You may have also noticed the nice spruce siding facelifts on Main Street? These qualities certainly make me want to keep my shopping local.
I hope the new Save U More will make the same commitment to our community. In the past, we've seen businesses come to Homer, promising to fit the local values. But instead these buildings end up looking like any "box store," by removing all natural vegetation and constructing boxy buildings with large parking lots, plastic signs and bright lights. This type of development ruins it for everyone and makes planning and zoning necessary.
I hope the Planning Commission and the city of Homer can identify a planning tool that will maintain and enhance our beautiful town as well as meet the needs of local businesses. Thanks again to those who go above and beyond to keep Homer such a great place. I look forward to new, attractive development in our community.