I talk to people all of the time about the future of Pleasant Hill. Some say they would love to see it have some bigger and better stores and conveniences and others just want it to stay a small town. I say, why can't we have both? Growth is inevitable, I mean, you can't stop people from continuing to move here and moving that population number up on the sign coming into town. It is going to happen. This is an opportunity to decide what our long term vision is for Pleasant Hill.
If we have the right planning, we can decide now what it will look like with 20,000 or 40,000 people instead of just letting it happen to us. We can make a plan, and try to keep that small-town feel downtown. It all takes a bit of planning and deciding.
I grew up in Olathe Kansas and when my family first moved there it was a small town. It wasn't as small as Pleasant Hill, but small enough where it was still quaint. Now, to me, it is one big ugly city that houses manufacturing buildings and companies. The main drag is crowded and hard to navigate and takes half an hour to get from one side of town to the other. I sure don't want Pleasant Hill to become something like Olathe.
We can decide what kind of industry we want to attract, how our streets and roads will be expanded, and figure out alternative routes. Where do we want our new schools, businesses, and are we going to keep everything downtown.
It will take some forward-thinking and being open-minded, but we can decide now who we will be in 20 years and in 30 years.