The Wendell Board of Commissioners recently delayed action on a request by a local church to develop a portion of its property – roughly 44 acres – into a mixture of single-family homes, apartments, duplexes and commercial buildings.
That’s an ambitious effort on a relatively small tract of land, but it is manageable and commissioners are probably wise to go slow on any decision they make. But we hope they won’t use that time to look for reasons not to let the project go forward. Included in the proposal is a plan for some senior housing, which commissioners have viewed in the past as code for subsidized housing for poor people. And the prevailing sense on the town board in Wendell is that there is enough housing for low-income residents in Wendell without creating more.
But this project also includes a commercial component and could be the genesis for a new commercial center in Wendell to accompany downtown, the Wendell Boulevard corridor and the proposed commercial development in Wendell Falls.
That’s important to everyone because Wendell’s tax base stands to grow considerably when commercial interests invest in the town. That kind of growth is certainly more significant then strictly residential growth.
In fact, it’s just the kind of growth Wendell craves. So we hope commissioners, in their review, will find it worthwhile to allow this project and will pursue only minor tweaks rather than deal-breaking wholesale changes.