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With Pendleton’s leaders torn between promoting economic growth and preserving a small-town quality of life, it is fortunate that a comprehensive plan for controlled growth and development is in place.

The town council has two options — either to follow the plan or to propose a new one if the current one is too binding. When deciding between these two options, the elected officials should listen to their employers — the Pendleton residents themselves.

In a recent town council meeting, some residents accused the council of acting against the plan in approving new subdivisions proposed by the town plan commission

While it is admirable to promote economic growth, many people choose to live in small towns because they prefer peace and quiet to the hustle and bustle of the big city. They’d rather pay a few more dollars at the local mom-and-pop store than have their scenic views blotted out by big box stores.

Pendleton’s comprehensive plan successfully developed a small town with character, and perhaps it worked too well. The approval of new subdivisions would indicate that Pendleton is drawing new residents, and those people will need places to eat, live and work.

So the paradox begins. How does Pendleton preserve that small-town flavor that brought people there in the first place while providing those people with a thriving economy?

The answer is to develop and follow a plan for the direction of the community that preserves a quality of life while allowing for economic success.

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