Newcomer says: Don’t make the same Sonoma County mistake – Masonite Monster Mall (Updated)

Letter to the Editor
Press Democrat

As a newcomer to Ukiah, I find it disheartening to find my new home possibly about to make the same mistake as my old one, Sonoma County.

DDR, a development company, is pushing for a shopping center on Ukiah’s Masonite site, and while the project is promoted as a small strip mall, the developer’s 2009 proposed specific plan amendment calls for construction of a mixed-use center with maximum building area of 800,000 square feet — making it comparable to Coddingtown or the Santa Rosa Plaza.

In the 1980s, the Santa Rosa Plaza emptied Santa Rosa’s downtown of commerce, and it’s taken decades for that downtown to recover. I would hate to see the same fate for downtown Ukiah and its nearby smaller shopping centers.

There’s evidence nationwide that Americans are rejecting mall culture as gas prices rise, turning instead to smaller local shopping areas and to online shopping that doesn’t require car travel at all. DDR’s large mall would require a large shopping population drawn from a wide radius, not just from small Ukiah.

How sad if we in Ukiah allow construction of a major shopping center when other Americans are learning the lessons of the past decades, coming to prize their downtowns and avoiding huge malls.



[Update -DS]

GUINESS McFADDEN talks about the Monster Mall plan on BARRY VOGEL’S Radio Curious (podcast)

McFadden discusses why he is strongly opposed to the attempt by Ohio-based Developers Diversified Realty Inc. (DDR) to pass a ballot initiative which would rezone the 76-acre Masonite plant site to allow a shopping mall of up to 800,000 square feet.

Obama’s First 100 Days Makes and Remakes History

…what team Obama has accomplished in its first 100 days is nothing less than an unprecedented reversal of decades of unsustainable national policy forced down the throat of the American public by conservatives.  While I will present a longer list below — and welcome your additions — three game-changing accomplishments stand out:

  1. Green Stimulus:  Progressives, Obama keep promise to jumpstart clean energy, economy — conservatives keep promise to jumpstop the future
  2. Sustainable Budget:  The first sustainable budget in U.S. history.
  3. Regulatory breakthrough:  EPA finds carbon pollution a serious danger to Americans’ health and welfare requiring regulation

Obama has clearly demonstrated he has a serious chance to be the first President since FDR to remake the country through his positive vision.  Indeed, if Obama is a two-term president, if he achieves even half of what he has set out to, he will likely be remembered as “the green FDR.”

Go to article at Grist