Development/ Land Use

I will pursue a “smart growth” strategy for new development. We should use the best thinking in schools of urban planning to design developments which enhance the quality of life. Development should center on the individual, not the automobile. Ample room should be made for pedestrians and bicyclists, and designs which encourage community rather than isolation so neighbors can look out for each and make their neighborhoods more than just the place where they sleep. To do this, we need to look at what has worked in other communities.
“Smart growth” means planned growth, but not “no growth.” Just before I took office, the county had imposed a  moratorium on new development in the “Memphis Reserve” areas to the east of Memphis.  I found this moratorium ultimately counterproductive, because it sent new development, with the jobs and revenue that comes with it, across the county line to competing areas. It was also limited in its effectiveness, since the County Commission had no control over developments approved in suburban cities.
As development continues, we’ll need to devise ways to pay for needed infrastructure: roads, sewers, water lines, and, most importantly, new schools. To the extent possible, we should direct new development to areas that already have this infrastructure in place. I’ll keep an open mind on these matters, working with Mayor Wharton and the rest of the Commission to strike the right balance.
Most of all, we need to adopt a regional approach to development issues. The County should not be competing with local municipalities to attract development or shift development costs. The entire region should work cooperatively according to a comprehensive plan for growth across the entire region. City-county consolidation can help with this.
Finally, we need to reduce the rate of eastward flight out from the City by making the city a more livable place. We do this in part by lowering crime and in part by encouraging investment and renewal in the inner city