More and more Americans are stepping up to help create vibrant, financially sustainable, resilient cities and towns.
HALTOM CITY, TX, October 06, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Earlier this year, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) denounced the fact that Haltom’s excessive zoning regulations discourage growth and in some cases, are being used to influence commerce. Says HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon, “Cities do not have the expertise, nor the right, to try to use zoning rules in such a manner, and having too many rules on business startups discourages all but the largest of businesses.”
Strong Towns, an American nonprofit that works to help cities and towns restore declining neighborhoods through civic engagement, seems to agree. A new video posted by the organization explains that all too often, “the systems in most places as they stand are complicated to navigate, difficult to get started in, and so full of red tape that they discourage small developers from getting started.”
The video, Can American Cities Save Themselves? This One Thinks So, highlights the success of South Bend, Indiana, one of the earliest areas of the country deemed to be part of the “rust belt.” To support and strengthen local neighborhoods, long-time residents, city leaders, developers, and bankers came together to work collaboratively and create an “ecosystem” of resources for developers and investors to use.
Importantly, South Bend leadership recognized the importance of a thriving small businesses community and the key role that zoning ordinances play in determining future use and design. City leadership therefore stepped up to review and simplify its development and land use codes. Their efforts were nationally recognized in 2021 when they received the National Excellence Award for Zoning Code Reform by the Form-Based Codes Institute for the writing and implementation of their new zoning codes.
Haltom City comes to mind when the Strong Towns rep says, “It’s easy to fall into a fatalistic mindset that things can’t change.” However, he goes on to say that Strong Towns is seeing more and more cities that have people stepping up to champion them, even if progress is measured block by block or parcel by parcel. According to Strong Towns, “If you’re not in a position to be a developer then it’s on you to advocate for changes” that will make it easier for locals that do have the resources to make investments in your town.
The comments left about the video are encouraging. “More of this content please. I’ve followed ST for years and I’m sure this is the most inspirational piece of media you’ve produced.” “South Bend has improved by leaps and bounds, and it is amazing to see, especially in how they talk about it in the video (collaboration, entrepreneurship, sharing the wealth).” “I love the idea of people reinvesting in the communities that are important to them.”
Haltom City’s council has made it clear that business owners who don’t reside in the city have no seat at the table concerning ordinances that affect them. This disconnect has led to many vacant buildings, and a 29% vacancy rate in one of its declining corridors. The city has no plan to attract small businesses back or revitalize the decrepit corridors.
Sturgeon is currently spearheading a Make Haltom City Thrive Again campaign to educate citizens and encourage advocacy at the grass-roots level. “Anyone who lives or works in Haltom City and is hoping for a brighter future for themselves, their children, and their community should consider getting involved.”
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to representing existing business interests in Haltom City and promoting the growth of diverse businesses as well. Innovative strategies are needed to create a strong tax base and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees, and business owners. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected] or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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