I believe the NewsPress opinion piece on the preservation efforts under way in the Westwood area was unfair to those working to keep this historic neighborhood viable.
Rather than criticize OSU President Burns Hargis' interest in maintaining the neighborhood’s attractiveness, I believe he should be commended for recognizing that for most Stillwater visitors OSU is their window into our wider community. Maintaining those homes surrounding the university is not only beneficial to OSU but to the entire town.
Those who work in economic development will tell you that livable neighborhoods are just as important as good schools in attracting industry and a vibrant workforce.
For the city of Stillwater to make the significant strides many are working towards, we need to look at our hometown with the critical eye of an outsider.
Cars parked in yards are not only bad for property values, they are bad for the environment. They kill lawns and trees and contribute to water pollution from the subsequent stormwater run-off. Our city codes are antiquated and need to be tightened.
I have attended the Westwood neighborhood association meetings and at no time have they been anti-student. All of us who live in this neighborhood choose it in part for its proximity to the university.
Creating a student ghetto surrounding the university benefits no one except a small handful of out-of-town landlords that profit by cramming too many people into single-family homes falling into disrepair.
Renovating established neighborhoods like Westwood is a trend around the nation. In many ways it is the ultimate in recycling.