Thanks to the diligent efforts by the development committees from Sherman and Denison, to fortunate location, and an available, skilled workforce, Grayson County is beginning a major growth spurt. The planning being done by the individual towns and cities in the county should be closely coordinated.

Growth will bring many blessings such as expanded shopping and more restaurants. However, a quick glimpse down highways 75 and I-35 shows what can happen without coordinated intermediate- and long-range planning for traffic, schools, and parks. A free, limited-access, four-lane bypass around the twin cities and two or three east-west freeways will be needed to avert the congestion McKinney, Wiley, and Austin have all experienced. Because these won’t immediately be needed, the rights of way could be purchased now for construction as needed.

Likewise, parklands, bike paths, and soccer, softball, football, and baseball fields aren’t required now, but will be in the future. The same is true for school sites. Sixty years ago, when Boulder, Colorado saw the future growth heading up from Denver, the city purchased land for future parks in a vast greenbelt around the city.

Grayson County cities and towns could do the same now by acquiring floodplain land and by requiring playgrounds and pocket parks in new developments — the added costs of these should be offset by the premium humans put on homes close to parks. These spaces will not be available once they’re built-on.

Henry Gorman