Redevelopment topic of interactive seminar at Crestwood City Hall Oct. 21

By Mike Anthony

The first of three interactive seminars planned by Crestwood officials to discuss redevelopment will take place next week.

“Why Redevelopment?” will be the topic of the seminar that will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall, 1 Detjen Drive.

Issues that will be discussed during the seminar include “Why do cities participate in redevelopment?” and “Why public financial participation?”

At the urging of City Administrator Don Greer and Mayor Jim Robertson, the Board of Aldermen voted last month to withdraw a request for redevelopment proposals for the Wat-son/Grant Redevelopment Area and to establish a moratorium on redevelopment.

Greer first proposed the idea of a moratorium on redevelopment in a Sept. 5 memorandum. Besides the moratorium, Greer also proposed one or more forums to begin “an accurate, truthful series of discussions with Crestwood residents” about redevelopment.

His proposal, he noted, was in response to questions posed by a resident — Jerry Miguel — regarding the proposed redevelopment of the 18.79-acre Watson/Grant Redevelopment Area. In his memo, Greer also was critical of the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance, a private organization that has voiced concerns over city officials’ handling of the proposed redevelopment at Watson and Grant roads.

During the Sept. 9 Board of Aldermen meeting, Robertson, saying he was speaking “to the people of Crestwood,” read a prepared statement that echoed Greer’s call for a moratorium on redevelopment and proposed “interactive seminars” for residents about redevelopment.

“The most important thing to this administration is your welfare and your concerns for the city. In recent weeks, you have been the victim of a systematic campaign of misinformation apparently intended to confuse and mislead you about the subject of redevelopment,” Robertson stated.

Additional seminars are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, and Tuesday, Dec. 16, at City Hall.

Robertson said he is uncertain what will happen after the seminars are concluded.

“We’re not precommitted to anything in spite of what you may have heard or what may have been suggested by other people. We don’t know at this point where we’re going to come out,” he said.