We bought our historic home (built in 1900) in Original Town in 1997 when this area of Town was a very quiet rural neighborhood. Nestled in the northwest area of superior west of McCaslin and south of highway 36 we would see less than 10 cars a day go by our home on W. Coal Creek Drive. It quickly became apparent that this area of Superior was an attractive place for development and future growth, and it all started within a year or so of us moving into Original Town. What is now the Superior Marketplace was a development plan being put forward to develop an area on the property of rural neighbors who had no idea what was coming. It was a difficult time that included the use of eminent domain by our Town that shocked many of us. It was a stark introduction to how developers and local governments work and then began our community involvement.
Fast forward through phase 1 and 2 of the Superior Marketplace, the development of the Sagamore subdivision, early years of downtown superior planning, a passionate group of us getting Open Space plans incorporated, numerous plans for commerce on Rogers Farm, 150+ homes proposed in what is now Town Open Space and 52 homes in Coal Creek crossing (8 lost in the fire and every home impacted. And, in 2016 with rumblings of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and a marketplace, successful for big box, had many vacancies I realized how critical it was for us to evaluate and plan this area.
I started working on a recommendation I called “NW Superior Small Area Planning”. I engaged several Town Board members and found support and encouragement from several. I returned to the Planning Commission and found unanimous support for this important work. That was the start of the NW Area Plan.
In early 2018 the Planning Commission was approved to work on the plan. We hired Clarion Associates to assist with the planning. We had amazing engagement from the community, committees, Town staff and Board members. We completed the plan and recommendations to the Town Board and were excited to see all this work come together. Then, in early 2019 the Board voted not to adopt the plan – We were shocked. Board members that were in support turned over in the 2018 election the current Board voted not to adopt the plan.
Now, here we are in 2022 and within weeks of the Marshall Fire development plans start coming forward. There is an amazing plan for us to re-visit, update and approve to ensure this area is what we want as a Town. The plan is available on the Town Website.
It is critical for us to revisit this plan immediately either on its own or as a desperately needed update to our Comprehensive Plan that has been untouched since 2012.
This is just one example of incredible community involvement and support that somehow failed to come to fruition. Something needs to change and I’m running to start that conversation!