Letter: We need leaders who see greater goodWith regard to all the current and potential property development taking place, and wanting to take place, in our community, I have been thinking about how our decisions will reveal themselves many years from now when it is too late to change them.
By: Carolyn Hedin, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
With regard to all the current and potential property development taking place, and wanting to take place, in our community, I have been thinking about how our decisions will reveal themselves many years from now when it is too late to change them.
"Highest and best use" is a term commonly used in the realm of real estate to determine either a valuation of property or its usage. Very often it refers to a financial return that will benefit either the owner or the entity making the determination of usage.
But how often is a determination or sale made with regard to the neighbors, to the larger community and to future generations?
How compatible is the use of a property to its immediate surroundings? Does it add value or take away value? Does it increase harmony, or create tension? Does the property have benefit only for the owner, or does it contribute to the greater good?
And, thinking beyond today, what about tomorrow?
A strong community is built on strong individuals who have the education, the confidence, the generosity and the vision to see beyond self-interest to the interest of others. It means the ability to see beyond the present to the future. What would happen if "highest and best use" were applied with these considerations?
Whether development contributes to the well-being of the citizens and community as a whole, or whether it depletes our resources for the benefit of a few, will be decided by the interpretation of "highest and best use." Let us not allow difficult economic times to tempt us into sacrificing long-term assets for short-term use, nor to weaken our fortitude to do what is best for the greater good.