Letter to the Editor

Reason for rezoning

In his letter to the editor, "Out of touch commission", Mr. Gaines makes claims that require a response.

While I don't speak for the commission, I'm happy to share my thoughts on why this rezoning makes sense.

As Veteran's Memorial Drive is extended south, a portion of the property, along I-55, will likely be rezoned to Commercial, a sensible use of this interstate-front property. Through its action, the commission essentially recommended a transition zone, from what could be commercial property, to condos/townhomes, to single-family residential homes. Failing to rezone this portion of the property to R3 risks placing single-family homes adjacent to a commercial zone. I believe a transition is preferable. Others will disagree.

However, Mr. Gaines concludes the commission consists of "all white males" and "may have trouble identifying with working-class folks." If Mr. Gaines is suggesting that racism or sexism factored into the decision, that's ridiculous. Mr. Gaines obviously doesn't know the people who serve on the commission. I made my living riding the back of a trash truck for two years in my early 20's. From 2000-2012, I lived in the neighborhood.

Finally, Mr. Gaines claims, "...none of the commissioners interacted with those of us who spoke at the hearing or showed empathy for our concerns." That's false. One commissioner voted against the recommendation. Several, including me, stayed after the meeting to share our thought processes.

Commissioners make thoughtful decisions based on the information available to them. They deserve our appreciation for their unpaid public service.

JEFF GLENN, chairman, Cape Girardeau Planning & Zoning Commission, Cape Girardeau