EDITOR’S DESK: Visions on the Westside

       Vision is fun when you find it. An example that's been unfolding in front of our eyes is Gold Hill Mesa. Developer Bob Willard is not your everyday, cookie-cutter builder. From the get-go, what moved him - despite skeptics and toxic-waste nay-sayers - to labor for 8 1/2 years to the point where he's finally selling houses, was the vision of a seamless residential community, one that would (among other things) blend the modern with the traditional. Thus, you'll see the Gold Hill residents going on line with fiber optic cable but picking up mail in their community center's postal area. Also, the subdivision will have a commercial area but no big-box stores - because they go against Willard's goal of a “strategic mix for living and working,” as he explained to a meeting this week of the Skyway Homeowners Association.
       There was another meeting with vision this week, one that was more typically Westside because it involved people who are not deep in the pockets. This was a neighborhood meeting on the proposed Metropolis Terrace Tavern. The group's representatives expressed dismay - even indignation - that their proposal had been reduced by some to the common denominator of booze when their vision was/is for a "neighbor-friendly meeting area for all" (to quote from their application to the city). And, to their credit, when the meeting had ended, the owner and his supporters had clearly won over the neighborhood and were ready to move on to Planning Commission May 3. So here's wishing them well there, in obtaining a liquor license and in all the other steps needed to get the business going. At the same time, we can't overlook the concerns expressed at the meeting by a long-time Westsider who sensed the ways the plan could fall asunder. And she's right. Hard work is what differentiates a vision from a dream, as Bob Willard well knows. The Metropolis group could do worse than follow his example.

- K.J.