As owner of two businesses in Grosse Pointe Woods, one of the currently 64 members of the Business Retail Association, and a resident, I wish to express my deep disappointment with all but three city officials who decided not to show up for a very enlightening and informative gathering last week at city hall.
The gathering, sponsored by BARA, employed two very well-educated gentlemen who help cities with developing a master plan pertaining to signage, image and traffic flow.
The advice they offered was no-nonsense and straightforward. Most of all it could have helped an already confused city council and planning commission. These speakers made it very clear to us what our challenges are and how to fix them. Best of all it was non bias with no influence from anyone here.
The best news for me was that most of our current rules and regulations relating to signage, color and design are illegal and not enforceable. Our city could have benefited from this event greatly. Many potential lawsuits and hours of meetings at the taxpayers' expense would also have been avoided.
Maybe city officials need to take a field trip to Birmingham so they can see what is said to be one of the finest examples of suburbia in the Midwest. There is a reason small two-bedroom homes there list for $380,000 and the same here might get $120,000. It is called "booming business district." That's it. The air is not better. The weather is not better. The people are not better. It is the understanding of the relationship of business and residential. That is it and nothing more.
Diversity made America and can save this city. The cocoon has been broken wide open and needs immediate attention. Maybe next time we will have a little more interest. For a city so on the edge of falling one of two ways, it was surely a disappointment so few cared to show.