Are we to become a strip mall ghost town?

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With the departure of businesses including The Melting Pot, Mervyns and the Shoe Barn – this brings an immediate concern – the overbuilding of Rocklin’s retail front. This isn’t 2002 anymore, yet Rocklin’s City Council and planners seem to think it is. Rocklin is quickly becoming a strip mall ghost town. Existing stores are barely keeping up. The vacant spaces are becoming eyesores, but what does the city do? Approve more buildings to go up. Keep putting jobs into developers’ wallets. Kobra Properties has left their existing project spaces on Stanford Ranch Road, and namely, the Jack in the Box project on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Stanford Ranch Road idle, with nil progress for almost two years. Look at the automotive tech complex on the end of Sunset and Pacific Street that sits vacant. Then there’s the condominium project on Sunset and Whitney that went bankrupt without much update. There are many more development projects the city mishandled to list. The bottom line stands – Enough. It is extremely easy to destroy open space, build a building, yet that building stays aground, regardless of whether it is vacant or not, deteriorating. There’s a reason Lowe’s pulled out of the Sierra College Boulevard project, even with ambitious city promises. The Melting Pot was promised potential business flow with a movie theater built nearby, none of which has materialized. City council, listen up. Call for a moratorium and put a stop to the endless stream of “junk” developments and re-focus on the plan to fill up these buildings. Or better yet, tear them down and create a park. In the meantime, we as local citizens can support those local businesses that struggle daily against an ever-intensifying economic crisis. David Birchell, Rocklin