New Downtown Developments Are A Magnet for Growth
White River's burgeoning downtown scene is set to
get another business boost.
A new assisted-living facility planned for the under-utilized lot next door to Northern Stage's Barrette Center for the Arts (itself drawing crowds from all over the Upper Valley) will soon add even more foot-traffic to the mix.
This is exactly the kind of smart growth that should be encouraged. What do I mean when I say smart growth? For starters it's located in just the right place: a dense village downtown. This is a smart move from an energy standpoint. It means less traffic and less sprawl. It is in line with state and regional guidelines and conforms to the Town Master Plan. This protects the town's natural and agricultural assets. It stands in stark the contrast to the on-again-off-again Quechee Highlands development off of Exit 1 on I89. Located in a wildlife corridor that ill-fated project was the brainchild of none other than former gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne.I fought the Quechee Highlands project tooth and nail. But not because I have some innate anti-development sentiment. I opposed it because it was the wrong kind of development. I opposed it because it was stupid. This is the right kind of growth. It will give seniors, their guests and the staff easy access to all White River has to offer. It's a frequently repeated assertion that White River is a "creative economy" ... well I guess, but most of those artists support themselves with day jobs. Usually that means black-collar work in local cafes, restaurants and shops, and these businesses can reasonably expect to benefit from the increased foot traffic. That's good for everybody.If you'd like to know more, Monday, June 6 at 6pm the Planning Commission is meeting at Town Hall to discuss the project.