Go get what we want, or just wait?
You know the horse - it's the "you can't control the fact that we're going to grow, but you can control how we growth" horse.
A quote in an Associated Press story that appeared in Sunday's Corpus Christi Caller- Times summed it up well: "You go get what you want or you wait for what comes."
The story was about planned versus unplanned development in a rapidly growing area outside St. Louis, Mo. The architectural firm that designed Seaside, Fla., after which Beachwalk I and II were designed, is involved in the Missouri project.
Don't get me wrong. I think Beachwalk and its neighbors are great developments. I think Santa Fe is a great city. I don't want Port Aransas, as a whole, to have that much sameness to it. Some of the general principals, however, are worth embracing.
In planning the future of Port Aransas, our job is not to make cars happy, as it was pointed out in "Suburban Nation, the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream", by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck of the architectural firm, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
We need to decide just what our job is, and I think it's to make people happy - both residents and visitors.
People will not be happy if they are floating on a river of moving vehicles flanked by fields of parked vehicles in front of one chain restaurant or retailer after another.
What I think will make people happy is a "walking town" where visitors and residents park and walk to shops, restaurants and other gathering spaces, both indoors and outdoors.
Residents and visitors who are greeted by "mom and pop" shops and restaurants that can only be found in Port Aransas, Texas, USA, will stay here and play here.
You can go anywhere and eat at Macaroni Grill or shop at Dillards. When people come to Port Aransas, they should experience shopping and dining they can't get anywhere else - and that's what will make them come back.
When I go out of town, I want to experience the culture and ambiance of the city I'm visiting, so I look for the local angle - from shopping to dining and entertainment.
Much of this can be dictated by planning and zoning, and is being addressed in the master plan that is all but complete.
The rest is up to us. Do we want to go after what we want, or do we want to wait for what comes?