Ashton Meeting Place can Help Make our Community a Better Place
-Enhance Sense of Community-
Ashton Meeting Place, town center, mall, village center. Why worry about what it is called. Let’s focus on what it is: Ashton Meeting Place.
Ashton Meeting Place is exactly that; an intermediary place to meet for Ashton area and other local residents who live east of Olney. Ashton Meeting Place will be a place where we can purchase groceries, a cup of coffee or meet with neighbors.
It can provide an intermediary location that will give us more time with family and less time in our cars navigating the crowded Route 108 corridor. Remember, Good Counsel High School is coming soon and that will only further increase car volume and traffic flow in the Olney-Ashton corridor. The road improvements that are integral part of the Ashton Meeting Place Development will help to mitigate these traffic congestion and safety issues currently existing at the Intersections of Routes 108 and 650.
If supported, Ashton Meeting Place can help make our community a better place as it can serve as an Ashton focal point increasing our sense of ‘‘Ashton community.”
Do I want development in Ashton, No. However, it is apparent to me that the land is zoned for development and we as a community have two options: (a) Rely on the spirit and community involvement of local developers who are concerned about our community or (b) rely on a national developer focused on earnings per square foot.
In general terms the local development team currently heading up the project is focused on developing a community based meeting location with grocer⁄ shops and small retail. The current plans have factored in traffic concerns, community needs and scalability. The current plans have scaled back the grocer location to one that is the smallest size that a grocer will come in and support. The local development team currently managing the project is community based and is working with community leaders to develop an increased sense of ‘‘Ashton community.”
If our local development team cannot find a way to make the project work, they will be forced into a situation where they will need to sell the land. The most likely acquirer will be a national developer and that significantly decreases the community focus and increases the probability of a big box, high-volume location being put on the site in our community.
Ashton is a growing and very affluent area. This land is very valuable to any developer. A national developer will put its legal team on the project and can afford to incur legal fees to develop this valuable location. Big box, high-volume is what we are in jeopardy of seeing developed if we do not support our local development team.
This big box I do not want to see. Please consider Ashton Meeting Place and the alternatives.
Scott and Denise Paton, Ashton
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