Crestwood’s residential integrity intrinsically tied to Lindbergh Schools

To the editor:

With regard to the development of the former Crestwood Plaza site, Jeanmarie DeCoster of Crestwood considers herself a resident of Crestwood before all else, according to her Feb. 18 letter to the editor.

As with other developments, there are a myriad of issues that will ultimately effect Crestwood and other entities; Lindbergh Schools being one of those entities in the case of the mall development. But reducing such a complex issue to a single consideration is myopic.

The residential integrity of Crestwood is intrinsically tied to the quality of the school district serving it, Lindbergh.

A good school district equates to stable residential property values and a high-performing district — Lindbergh — keeps those property values high.

Overloading any school district with a glut of children degrades the school district’s ability to maintain quality education, and thus the residential integrity of the community deteriorates.

Yes, the expert wizards from UrbanStreet Group assured everyone that tax-increment financing, or TIF, is a must and that they will probably walk away if Crestwood doesn’t agree to “partner” with them.

But a TIF partner is a partner without full benefits. If the deal is so good, why hasn’t UrbanStreet found a real partner?

Risking the degradation of Lindbergh Schools to procure a movie theatre and — oh, we’re not sure what else — isn’t a good idea.

And residents of Crestwood, like all other municipalities, are also citizens of the greater community around them.

Thus municipal officials need to consider the “bigger picture” when making property-development decisions.

Michael K. Broughton

Green Park

Editor’s note: Michael Broughton serves as a Ward 1 alderman in Green Park.