A while ago I wrote a blog about “Chevy in the Hole” in Flint (http://changingstreets.com/blogs.cfm?pageid=3657) and recently I came across an update as to what the city is going to do with this huge and (almost) deserted property. The Flint Journal posted that on Thursday, April 10th at 5:30pm, the Genesee County Land Bank and the City of Flint would be presenting their plans for this site. There was to be a public question and answer session about the plans and a chance to view a design draft of the project that will be known as Chevy Commons.
According to the article there are plans to convert about 60 acres of the former Chevrolet car manufacturing grounds into a common natural area for the public to enjoy. It will include open areas of open grassland, woods and wetlands and will be accessible to surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.
Some may argue that Flint has much bigger problems to take care of than to plan on developing a natural area such as Chevy Commons. But there have been many studies on how parks and natural areas such as these have a positive effect on a community’s economic bottom line.
According to the American Planning Association there are many ways a city benefits from parks. It’s been shown that a majority of home buyers would prefer to purchase a home closer to parks or natural open areas. It follows that when you have more people buying homes in an area, property values will go up.
When property values go up, property taxes are soon to go up as well. “Increased property values and increased municipal revenues go hand in hand. Property tax is one of the most important revenue streams for cities. By creating a positive climate for increased property values, the tax rolls will benefit in turn.” (http://www.planning.org/cityparks/briefingpapers/economicdevelopment.htm)
Obviously, when a city has more revenue, it can provide for its citizens in a better manner and attract even more people to come live, work and play. Hopefully Chevy Commons will be this sort of green jewel of hope for Flint’s economy. It’s a great step in the right direction anyway and we look forward with hope to its success!