Enforcing ordinances always a good first step
The Hartselle Planning Commission made a good decision this week provided the city follows up with enforcement of its existing landscape ordinance.
Thinking of aesthetics, members proposed an irrigation ordinance because some new commercial developments lack proper upkeep during hot, dry summer months.
This week, members agreed that the adage you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink might also apply to the proposed law. The city could require new businesses to install irrigation systems but couldn't ensure their use.
The solution, members hope, is to enforce the existing law that requires new businesses to make sure their landscaping plants live at least a year.
Good thinking! Now if the city will hold the business owners to the letter of the law, the problem may be solved, in some cases, at no additional expense, and give young plants a chance to survive that tough first year.
Over in Moulton, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vicki Morese made a point about merchants being team players. Moulton is starting to bring the Star Theatre back to life and she wants the downtown square involved in renewal.
"One of the biggest mistakes of downtown merchants is to view themselves as individual stores. It has to be viewed as an entire shopping district."
That applies to Hartselle and any other town across America, too. But sometimes it requires a combination of ordinance enforcement and community pride to get the point across that a city is serious about beautification.