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OUR VIEW: Growth is not bad

It is surprising that the people of Locust didn’t see this coming.

The growing city on a main artery into the Charlotte metro area had to expect that at some point lifestyle-altering growth would come knocking at its door. The biggest surprise is that it took this long to happen.

In our stories on the new 265-lot development called the Elm Street project, neighbors express fears that the new development would hurt wildlife and put an end to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.

All of that may well happen. There is no doubt that adding 300 homes will change the character of a town, but like time — growth and change are still undefeated.

It’s easy to look at Locust and see what it has the potential to become. With a well-designed modern Town Center and a growing retail community, this is a town poised to quickly grow beyond its 3,176 population in the next 10 years.

The key to handling growth is making sure it doesn’t come unchecked.

It is the city council’s job to make sure the growth helps pay for the additional infrastructure needed to handle it. New roads need to be well planned to handle the traffic. The water and sewer systems may need to be upgraded and additional schools and recreational areas may also be needed.

There are cities all over this state and the country who would gladly change places with Locust. They would love to have a developer with a 300-home development knocking on their door bringing lots of new tax revenue.

Growth can bring great things. New homes bring new retail opportunities, new restaurants and new industry.

The Locust City Council is right to take it slow and make sure to use their tools to properly control the growth, but growth is coming. And it’s not a bad thing.