Wildwood one step closer to updating Town Center plan
By: Sarah Wilson
Wildwood is one step closer to coming together and making a decision.
The City Council at its Oct. 8 meeting made an amendment to its proposed Town Center plan update that would accept the current plan with the exception of four properties, which, if approved, would go to the city’s Planning/Economic Development/Parks Committee for further review.
As previously reported on in West Newsmagazine (Wildwood to once again vote on Town Center update), the main concerns lie with matters of economic development and with the owners of the Slavik, Spanos, Brown and Jones properties, who have expressed opposition to the update because it would affect their designations as commercial properties.
For the past two years, the Council and community have debated whether to allow “big-box” development into Wildwood’s Town Center – a key factor in approving the Town Center plan.
Councilmember Ron James (Ward 6) made a motion to accept the Town Center plan with the exception of two properties, the Slavik and Spanos properties.
“I do have problems with the (proposed) Town Center plan (update),” James said. “The more I study, the more I learn, the more problems I have because I do want Wildwood to be a success.”
Councilmember Jack Clark (Ward 4) agreed with James, but said his own preference would be “to see all four of them sort of excluded for the time being, temporarily, so that they could be studied further, investigated further, to see if there is any further way, with regard to all four properties, we could come to some sort of a resolution.”
The Council voted in favor of the motion to exclude all four properties.
“I’m just in support of an attempt to get done what seems to be impossible in this room sometimes every other Monday night, and that is a substantive dialogue on the facts,” Councilmember Tammy Shea (Ward 3) said. “It would be my hope that at a committee level, whether it’s PEP or Economic Development, which is what these committees are designed to do, which is to deliberate, to take in detail the concerns and the claims and the facts, and fashion that into a recommendation to send forward to the Council or to P&Z and let’s get to the root of this and stop the hyperbole.”
The Council plans to vote on the second reading of the legislation at its next meeting.