The requests for variance by the Blanco Luxury Suites and the (proposed) Stripes convenience store caught our attention like a runaway 18 wheeler barreling down Highway 281 on the wrong side of the road. Allowing businesses to have signs 60 feet in the air or 10 feet by 12 feet in size is absolutely ridiculous! Do we want to preserve the look and feel of our small town or not? Or would we prefer it to look like the 281 corridor running through Marble Falls with large garish signs competing for the passerby’s attention by out shouting each other?
Remember the view we used to have of the Blanco River Valley when driving up from San Antonio. It was beautiful and said “Welcome Home” to all who saw it. Then, one day we woke up and found those large billboards blocking the view and urging us to buy all sorts of things we didn’t need.
Remember when our night skies were a lot darker and our stars a lot brighter than they are now? Then, one day we woke up and found a multi-megawatt light pollution generator purporting to sell gasoline sitting just south of town.
Remember when the Pecan Bottom was full of promise as a city park bordering the Historic Square? Then, one day we woke up and found a laundromat there.
Remember when… we could go on and on.
Yes, there were reasons all this happened and it can be argued whether or not we were asleep at the wheel and could have prevented it all but the bottom line is that there is a trend here. Bit by bit, we are losing our small town feeling by granting variances to a UDC that some would say is already too lenient. This is simply not the way to go.
So, P&Z, please stand your ground on denying these and all other similar variances. City Council, please back your P&Z. If we concentrate on keeping Blanco, Blanco, businesses will still come when it is in their economic interest to do so… but when they do, it should be on our terms — terms that will preserve the small town feel of our very special community.
Wayne & Martha Gosnell