As a new resident of Grosse Pointe Woods and as a parent of young children, I am writing to express my dismay and concern as to the planning commission's delayed approval of the Grosse Pointe Woods Branch library expansion.
While I grew up in the City of Grosse Pointe, I have lived several places since that time. My husband and I chose to return to "the Pointes" because we appreciate what the community has to offer including proximity to family and friends, lakeshore living, a close-knit community, and a high quality educational system Ñ the major reason behind our decision as we have 3-year-old twins.
We chose Grosse Pointe Woods acknowledging that we would be giving up some benefits offered by other communities.
But I did not think that we would be giving up something as basic as a high quality, functional, attractive library.
I consider a library to be integral to the success of our children's education and am distressed to learn of the curmudgeonly and interfering stance that the Grosse Pointe Woods Planning Commission has chosen to take.
I visited the Grosse Pointe Public Library Woods Branch recently and while it is a pleasant environment, it is certainly not what I would consider of modern caliber.
A library should be a reflection of its community as well as a center of learning. Today's educational environments must accommodate young and old alike, support new technology applications, facilitate community gatherings, and more Ñ all in a positive, inviting, spacious atmosphere.
It is possible to reflect the past while being pertinent to the future and the Grosse Pointe Library Board's design accomplishes all this and more.
The planning commission is overstepping its charter when it asks about interior space usage. The planning commission is selectively choosing to enforce exterior "facade rules," allowing large corporations such as CVS some flexibility while hindering the creativity of small businesses and public groups such as the library board.
The planning commission is disregarding the need to plan for the future as well as today. And, last but not least, the planning commission is hindering the Woods' ability to attract new residents and families such as ourselves.
We moved to the Woods just in time to vote for the Grosse Pointe Schools improvement bond Ñ a key tool in helping our community compete with other metro Detroit cities. I believe that the library board's proposed design will also be a positive asset to our community.
I believe that delaying further will cost residents in higher-interest loans; will discourage involvement in and input from the community; and will demonstrate that the Grosse Pointe Woods Planning Commission is not planning for the future but is stuck in a bygone era. I am casting my vote now for an immediate approval of the proposed design.
My children truly enjoy being read to and "reading" books to themselves. I spent many days at the Grosse Pointe Central Library devouring books. I hope to teach my children to love visiting the library as well, but it needs to be a library worth visiting. And the library board has designed it.
Approve the Grosse Pointe Woods Branch Library design today and let's move forward.