With all eyes on the future, Huntsville’s City Council is seeking the opinions of the students for various aspects of the city’s future development.
Primarily focused on the physical development of Huntsville, the city council wanted to know what the students want and need concerning the physical aspects of the community.
“We want to be focused on the physical development of Huntsville. Do students want more restaurants and entertainment venues? If so, what is it that they want?” said Stan Hamrick, Huntsville’s city planner.
By taking social demographic aspects such as race, age, economical standings; Huntsville is on a mission to find what fits the needs of the student body.
The city council will begin meeting 6 p.m. Thursday at the Walker County Education Center. City leaders encouraged students to attend to voice their concerns.
“We want to hear opinions from all levels because everyone has similar needs, but they all bring a different view to the table,” said Hamrick.
SHSU Student Government Association officials said parking issues are becoming more problematic as Huntsville continues to grow.
“The city of Huntsville needs a public transportation option to help out with parking around the city,” said Christopher Whitaker, President of the Student Government Association. “One of the best things the students can do is to voice their opinions to the council to change the city of Huntsville.”
The Comprehensive Plan, according to officials, is set to help with venues such as better restaurants, better movie theatres, hike/bike trails and public transportation, but also to allow the bars to close at 2 a.m. instead of 12 a.m.
“I feel that if the bars close at the same in Huntsville as they do in Houston, The Woodlands and College Station, less students will be on the road with the possibility of being injured,” said Ray Martin, Grievance Chair of the Student Government Association.
The plan for Huntsville to become a booming city has both good and bad. The potential good from better venues is that more prospective students will come to Sam Houston because Huntsville will be a fun place to live. On the downside, more growth for Huntsville means more personal property will be taken over for facilities like movie theatres and bus stations.
“The company that the city council seeks advice from, Lane Kendig Incorporated, is pro-eminent domain, meaning that they have no problem in taking over land to use for economical development,” said Martin. “This could be a great thing for the students, but it could also be a bad thing for the land owners who have had their land passed down to them for several generations.”
Martin is certain if Huntsville can get more businesses to open, competition will begin and prices will be lowered, causing the city to be a fun, inexpensive place to live.