To: Phil Graves, Publisher, Brunswick Herald,
Please consider the following letter to the editor for publication in the Brunswick Herald.
This letter has been sent to the Mayor and each City Councillor.
OPPOSED TO PROPOSED RUTTER’S ANNEXATION PLAN
City of Brunswick Mayor and City Council:
The English-born Canadian journalist and author (Blink, Outliers, The Tipping Point) Malcolm Gladwell opined: “Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions . . .by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”
The City of Brunswick’s only access to a major state highway (US Route 340) is the first impression residents and visitors have of the City of Brunswick. The Rutter’s high-speed diesel truck fueling and parking facility proposed on 25 acres in the Gateway corridor of the city is not the first impression we desire for Brunswick. Brunswick’s gateway is not the place to fuel large commercial tractor trailers and other trucks. Making this the first impression that greets people to the City of Brunswick does not make sense.
While our City’s Master Plan allows for the eventual annexation of the properties in the Gateway corridor, what actually is designed for the entrance to the City sets the tone for all that follows. There is only one opportunity at annexation. Once these properties are annexed, the citizens’ ability to provide input and the City’s ability to direct and control essential corridor view sheds, incorporate specific architecture and desirable design elements is over.
The proposed annexation includes more than just a Rutter’s, however details are not defined in the Rutter’s proposal. During previous pre-annexation discussions in this City, a significant amount of time, effort, professional planning, and citizen involvement was invested in planning the Gateway corridor. Streetscape details and design elements were considered; signage and entrance features were reviewed; street sections were considered; et cetera.
I urge the Mayor and City Council to restrict the annexation applicant (Rutter’s) to a convenience store and fuel, with no high-speed fuel pumps for tractor trailer fueling and no tractor trailer parking. To permit the proposed uses would unalterably change the first impressions upon entering Brunswick, compromise the extensive planning and design already instituted for this gateway, and, in my opinion, negatively affect residential property values in the vicinity.
I urge the Mayor, City Council and Planning Board to engage in comprehensive and detailed conceptualization, planning and design for Brunswick’s Gateway and to impose such restrictions on the annexation applicant as to preserve and enhance the primary entrance to our City.
Richard A. Foot