The following is in response to the video coverage of the recent ‘Meet and Greet’ by the two Italy mayoral candidates.
At the meeting, the candidates were asked by an audience member if the mandatory minimum home size rule could be changed for Italy. The present mayor ignored the question. James Hobbs said he would try and make it happen.
As publisher of the Italy Neotribune, I would like to make a few observations. I have lived outside of the city limits for 23 years. But we are involved in all of the city functions. This includes the schools (9 years as board member,) parades and virtually all other activities. At one time, we decided to build some smaller houses for people that needed them, such as Secret Garden located behind downtown. Italy did not seem like the place that needed mega-mansions — although we have built many of them around the world. But Italy is a great place to live with great people. But soon after I moved here, a lady told me she would soon retire and move to Waxahachie. “Why move?” was my response. She said that there were not any small homes available in Italy.
Wow! Why not?
It turns out that most of the small homes in Italy are owned and rented by an individual that likes it that way. He was the one that pushed the ruling through in the city, that the smallest new house had to be at least 1,200 square feet. That is far more than is needed for a widow’s needs, or even a senior couple’s needs. It is far more than a small family needs. That minimum size is what has kept small families and seniors out of Italy.
In the last 20 years, Italy has lost 10% of its population. We have lost an even larger percentage of Italy ISD students. Costs have gone up as there are fewer living in Italy paying water bills, etc. The new businesses out on the freeway are a lifesaver to Italy as they pay sales taxes. But ask yourself — would you rather live in a dying town or a growing town? We have one new store to replace a few dead ones. We have lost our lone doctor who hated to leave but could not make it as the town of Italy was getting smaller.
Realtors will tell you it is tough to sell a project in the dying or dead town of Italy. There are too many rules, too many regulations. There is too much loss of freedom for those who want to come here.
If you think that the 1,200 square foot minimum house size rule in Italy for new construction is stifling then also consider this, any proposed new housing division for Italy has a rule that those new homes are to be no smaller than 1,800 square feet. Can you see why there are no new subdivisions in Italy?
Towns either grow or die. North Texas has gained over 500,000 people in the last ten years. Have you seen what growth Waxahachie has had? They do not have minimum size houses. Freedom grows people. Loss of freedom is a killer. We need an administration that will evaluate all the rules and make proper changes. There is no reason other than “the rules” keeping Italy from growing.
I personally would like to see the school grow and the excitement grow with it. Please encourage those you vote for to make positive changes and increase the freedom of the people of Italy.
Please vote to better our fire department as well.