Why Not Develop Croman Mills Property

June 19,2020

 Dear Members of the Planning Commission:

 Related to PA-T1-2020-00114

 We understand the owners of the old Croman Mill land on Mistletoe Road, Dwaine & Bud, LLC, have recently applied for a Conditional Use land-use approval to continue to run a 5 year soils processing business on the nearly 60 acre Croman Mill land. This will further delay the potential for any economic development on the largest remaining parcel inside the City limits available for new businesses and buildings.  We believe that the City should deny this approval and instead actively explore ways to encourage new business development at this site.  

If approved, 5 more years will represent a combined total of 15 years from the date the Croman Masterplan was adopted by the City Council. Not a single building has been built or a single business has moved into the master-planned commercial District over that period. 

In this time of economic uncertainty diversifying Ashland’s economic base has never been more important. As the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hits our tourist-based economy our city is in desperate need of finding new revenues. This is a chance for Ashland to attract businesses to our wonderful town. Moving forward to develop the Croman Mill land is an opportunity we cant afford to let pass by any longer.  

 If the intended economic development had taken place at Croman Mill as originally planned, we would have a more balanced, less tourist-dependent economic base. We certainly would be benefiting from the increased tax revenues. In addition, the City would have benefited by receiving building application and permit fees, system development fees, water and electric meter set fees, utility tax, and the subsequent benefits that jobs, employment, and consumer spending provide to the community as a whole.

 How can our city leaders continue to talk about economic growth and development yet do nothing to support it?  Here is the opportunity to change course and get back on track.  In summary, we ask that the City deny the conditional use permit and do everything possible to encourage economic development and new business growth on the largest developable piece of commercial/industrial land within the City limits.  

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ashland Citizens for Economic Sustainability 

ACES Letter to Planning Commission – Deny Conditional Use Permit

ACES Letter to Planning Commission – Deny Conditional Use Permit