Even now, in the depths of recession, it’s time to build an environment in which people can think positively about opportunities for growth. The housing project recently begun on the northwest edge of Buffalo Peak Golf Course in Union is one such opportunity. The new project that is slowly taking shape is a sign of re-emerging community vitality and that the region can nurture healthy growth while avoiding willy-nilly, slipshod development.
The window of opportunity may open only briefly for such economic development. It’s important that while remaining fiscally responsible we step through that window. And it’s important we take with us an intelligent plan for growth.
More housing will inevitably be needed in Union County and Northeast Oregon. As we begin to build and grow again, it’s important that we study and weigh growth and development choices. Certain issues come immediately to mind. They include handling traffic, compromising aesthetics, shopping and entertainment needs, what kinds of development might overwhelm infrastructure and how to keep pace.
We’re confident that, as in the baseball movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner, if we build it, they will come. In this case it is not a baseball field cut out of a corn patch but a housing development adjacent to a high quality golf course. People who take pleasure in open spaces and in slower paces will find Union and all of Northeast Oregon much to their liking. Whether the people who move in to the houses yet to be built are professional people, retired seniors seeking the good life or others, the odds are that those who choose to live in Union County and Northeast Oregon will find much to enjoy.
Who knows, more quality upper middle class houses around the golf course might bring in people who invest in the local economy, bring more entrepreneurial spirit or both. And that bodes well for the future. In a time of anxiety over the economy, with high joblessness, it is wise to think of adding economic diversity and more family-wage jobs. When the economy starts to percolate again, we need to be ready to step through any windows of opportunity we see.