Residents of the El Chaparral neighborhood may not love it, but they accept the inevitability of growth and development — as long as it is high quality.
Neighborhood residents got their first look at a graphic of the nearby 976-acre development being planned by Billy Sapp at a meeting Thursday night, when Sapp representative Don Stamper presented preliminary drafts to about 20 people.
“I know a lot of people in this neighborhood are adamantly opposed to development,” said Evelyn Cleveland, president of the El Chaparral Area Neighborhood Association. “I am opposed up to a point. We can’t stop development. We can be an integral part in the quality of the development.”
Issues for Cleveland and other neighbors are the traffic on Route WW and the impact nearly 2,000 additional housing units could have on the area.
“Hopefully we can get some influence in getting the road much better,” Cleveland said. “It’s been a hazard for quite some time now.”
Aaron Neugarten, the neighborhood association treasurer, agreed. “The biggest issue I have is the road itself right now,” he said.
While Neugarten was initially opposed to the development, he now supports it as long as the development continues in an orderly fashion.
Resident Dina Baldwin said she has to leave her house before 7:30 a.m. to get to work at MU by 8 a.m. because the traffic is so bad. There is only one road out of the subdivision.
A study to assess improvements to the area is under way.
Jane Mauck said she is concerned the multi-family housing proposed could deteriorate over time. Mauck emphasized the importance of having a high quality neighborhood association to keep things nice.
“With the price of the lots, they’re not going to be able to build anything shabby,” Stamper said in response. “We can’t afford not to do it well.”
Neighbors also expressed concern over annexation and the possibility of El Chapparal becoming an island in the city. “I just hope they keep the standards up and keep the environment in mind and the beauty of the land,” Mauck said.