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“What tomorrow will bring is exciting, but we must not be a speed bump on the road to someone else’s palace of profitability.”

— Mark Urda

Naperville may have few undeveloped parcels of land left, but builders are far from done pursuing plans here. As a city commissioner and Historic District resident, I've seen that up close. Those plans are not inherently a bad thing, if we have a City Council that’s willing to put a strong hand on the leash—and ignore incentives to soften its grip! 

 

The coming years will unavoidably see some unpleasant conversations about adding density. Conversations where several single-family homes make way for three or more residential units per lot, where no amount of screening will stop a towering mixed-use development from changing the character and daily life of the neighborhood. And where one variance-laden development begets another nearby, continuing to where the city has effectively rezoned an area without the trouble of formally declaring the intent.

 

Let me be clear—I am not against development or the work our city does to encourage it. It can be revitalizing and exciting! But it can also create more problems than it solves. Finding the right balance, derived when the community is an equal partner and counterweight to the richly profitable desires of builders, leads to responsible development. 

 

I want to be on the council to both champion that balance and make transparent the city’s expenditures in pursuit of development. Rumors grow in darkness and the solution to that is obvious.

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