By Lloyd Sherman, February 1, 2020
Have you ever noticed that when the topic of the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) comes up you basically get one of two reactions? Either the person you’re speaking to starts beaming and becomes giddy, or, they go into convulsions.
Those who support what the CMP represents say they have read it, understand it and totally agree that it is the savior of the Village and they don’t understand why the rest of us go into convulsions.
Those that have questioned or oppose the CMP typically have read the majority of the document and have researched how it actually came about. The concept of what the CMP represents is not new. It has been around for decades and if you research its beginnings you will note that involved in from the very beginning are the founders of DPZ. Now don’t get me wrong, in the right setting and for those who want to live in a New Urbanism environment, this lifestyle works for them. God Bless them if they want this, but in this day and age, we have way too many people who want to determine how we all live our lives. Their choice, not ours.
I am not one of those people. I am a Baby Boomer and I grew up in rural America. The place I was raised was a logging community in Oregon, with a population of 200 people. If I remember correctly my 8th-grade graduating class had 13 of us moving on to the high school that was 17 miles away. I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. Now in the remaining years, I have left, MY choice was to move back to a more rural environment. I spent all the time I wanted living in the hustle and bustle of our cities, and yes town centers, etc.
People who are going to move to rural Arkansas are most likely not moving here to subject themselves to what they left.
If CCI hadn’t filed a lawsuit and won forcing the administration to allow the property owners access to the information that we not only pay for, and deserve to see, would we know some of what we know today? The answer is NO. It was obvious that an environment slipped in that secrecy and lack of transparency was to be the standard operating procedure. This is just unacceptable, but we still have signs of it going on today. The development and rollout of the CMP and then the Declaration Vote woke the property owners up. Prior to that, apathy had set in and way too many were not paying attention to what was going on. That has changed and I suggest more property owner involvement is not only needed but required. We need to be in charge of our own destiny and not have it left to those who think they know what is best for us.
The point of this writing is multi-purpose:
- If you have not actually read the document that set up the introduction of the CMP, please read it here.
- To point out that not everything in the CMP is useless. Anything that has any reference to infrastructure is worth consideration for being utilized.
- And lastly, the recognition that the real intent of the CMP was to change the Village to a Development Organization.
So, do we totally scrap the CMP? Due to the CMP now being a four-letter word, I have to say YES, but only to the name. The charge needs to be to simply go back to 1, 3, and 5-year STRATEGIC PLANS developed and adopted at the board level. Eliminate the use of the term CMP. Take the components of the document that deal with the core responsibility of the POA and that is a maintenance organization. If Developers come along and want to pursue lodging or further commercial development, let them approach us with their proposals. But under no circumstances should the POA itself have anything to do with these aspects of future development. That is the board’s responsibility.
Take all the resources currently directed towards CMP development projects and reassign them to work ONLY on infrastructure items. The human resource capital that is being misdirected today is in the millions and for what? To develop projects that can’t possibly be accomplished!
So in conclusion, let’s reverse engineer the CMP back to a Strategic Plan, eliminate the development concepts and turn all resources to maintaining what we have and be the best largest gated retirement community in the United States. We keep spending time trying to reinvent who we are to something we can never be.
Stop the madness and return the Village to its core purpose of a retirement community with some of the greatest amenities that can be found anywhere in this great county.