Originally Published: August 13, 2018 7:20 p.m.
Prescott was created by a succession of generations over a time span of more than a hundred years. Their buildings had architectural flair combining function with creativity. They built attractive schools to educate their children in civics, arts and the sciences. With their taxes they created an infrastructure of roads, water and energy, and a zoning plan to allow business to grow and residential areas to enjoy the peace of quiet streets.
And then we began to grow; some would say too quickly. Small businesses were forced to close as big chain conglomerates discovered new markets. They built unsightly box stores on land scoured clean from oaks and junipers. Caterpillar tractors gouged hillsides leaving grotesque, unhealed scars for the community to groan about, but helpless to stop. And they kept coming. We should be asking: Where were the town leaders and mayors, the planning and zoning boards, when our outskirts became mutilated landscapes?
Are we behind the times in Prescott, backward, or do some of our leaders take more pleasure in bellying up to the side of large developers as they allow unregulated desecration of our community assets and heritage for whoever asks for it?
Are these reckless disregards of our surrounding landscape going to become the norm as we face increasing pressure to allow annexations and development for the financial benefits of corporate entities, many from afar, who will reap extraordinary financial rewards for which we pay dearly? Without strict oversight, they plunder our unguarded heritage.
Roy H. Smith