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South Bossier Redevelopment meeting open to entire community

For anyone who missed Wednesday’s edition of the Bossier Press-Tribune which featured a front page story on the upcoming South Bossier Redevelopment meeting, here’s a reminder that the public is welcome to attend the Monday, April 28 event at CenturyLink Arena.  Doors open at 5 p.m.; the presentation begins at 6 p.m.

And while this planning meeting is about redevelopment in south Bossier, city residents who live in other older areas of the city may want to attend Monday’s meeting to discover how such planning is achieved – and whether it could be useful in improving their areas of town.

South Bossier, between Barksdale’s west gate and the Jimmie Davis Bridge – isn’t the only area of the city aging in a tattered sort of way.  The homes are older and of a style popular in subdivisions in the early 1970s.  Many have become rentals and sometimes aren’t maintained as well as by previous owner-residents.

Businesses also tend to be older, and when built were not subject to today’s construction and landscaping requirements.  Some new businesses have located along the narrow west side along Barksdale Boulevard bringing into sharp contrast what those new requirements produce – alongside the older and less attractive sites.

But this circumstance isn’t novel to south Bossier.

Central Bossier, the Airline Drive corridor between Barksdale Boulevard and Old Minden Road, the riverfront district – just to name a few – share those “aging” issues.

Following an early south Bossier meeting on the redevelopment initiative, Pam Glorioso, Bossier City Special Projects Director, put the planning undertaking in perspective by explaining where it starts.

“We’re looking at existing land uses – commercial, recreational, residential – and how some might be reprogrammed … Tell us what you’d like to see planned in the future, long-range.  What would you like to see the neighborhood become?  Be visionary – don’t just look at the crack in the sidewalk – but the new facility that might bring in new residents and homeowners,” Glorioso said.

Monday’s meeting will take south Bossier another step closer to such a vision.

The reality, however, is that such a vision for south Bossier — or any other area of the city that shares south Bossier’s aging issues – will not progress beyond a vision without the interest and support of Bossier City administrators and elected officials.

But this plan to redevelop south Bossier is not a city-generated initiative.  Instead it is driven by the settlement agreement that ended the lawsuit between U.L. Coleman and Bossier City over the ART Parkway curb cut.  Coleman is paying for the redevelopment plan.  What’s done with the plan after it’s completed isn’t really clear as yet.

In the meantime, Bossier City residents who believe their areas of town could also benefit from such a planning effort should consider attending Monday’s event.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at m_carlso@bellsouth.net 

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