“Better together” is a theme that many of us have heard. No city can go it alone and that includes Avondale Estates.
The progress over the past 18-months has been amazing but at times daunting and a little bumpy. But isn’t that the case with progress? As a City, we have a diverse talent pool of leaders, innovators, and collaborators. From our elected officials to our staff, to our residential and business partners and our volunteers, we bring together a diverse collection of talents, skills, outlooks, experiences, and, of course, opinions. When we work together towards our shared vision, great things happen.
As we reflect back, the result of collective efforts can be seen in the initiatives that have come to fruition most recently. While I can’t list every accomplishment in this letter, several significant milestones stand out. The City studied and adopted a stormwater priority plan to address the aging, insufficient infrastructure that has caused flooding issues in our City for years - and we are already charging ahead with its implementation! We revised the historic design guidelines to be clearer and more objective with the goal towards protecting the integrity of our historic district while also allowing for the necessary modern-day changes to our older homes. We modified our permitting process to streamline review and approvals for home renovations and added additional online tools for doing business with the City. With the help of committed volunteers, we were also able to refresh Willis Park and some landscaped areas around the lake.
We have also invested in our downtown to bring about a higher quality of life for everyone and to catalyze private investment. To that end, we adopted a new street grid to increase the accessibility of the downtown. Perhaps most notably, after an extensive award-winning design process, we started construction of the Town Green which serves as an example of what we can do when we work together. As residents, you participated in record numbers to have your vision and voice heard when it came to the design. Your collective ideas were incorporated into the space’s features in a way that will be usable and enjoyable. Those investments are already paying dividends. The assessed value of commercial property in the downtown have increased from $33M in 2019 to $172M in 2021.
Working collaboratively is not always easy or pretty. When we bring together more than one voice, there are sure to be differences of opinion. It is clear to me, though, that we all have a shared vision for the City of Avondale Estates. It is only a matter of how we get there. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and your support.
The march toward progress in Avondale Estates continues as does the debate and discussion. The opportunities in front of us are endless and I look forward to working with you to bring about our shared and collective vision. Thank you for being a part of the discussion.