Victoria Whyte Ball

When the old Lucky Store complex was torn down, I think we were all excited to learn that plans were underway to renovate that prime spot in our city’s center. Amazing blueprints were drawn up for a really first-class upgrade in a quite unique and beautiful way! These plans included a new hotel, science museum, outdoor theater, restaurants, and open space to enjoy the center of the city.

Having lived in Europe for many years I’ve experienced what it is to walk in the center of a beautiful city where people gather to enjoy events. They cherish their identity. It’s one of the charms that we all admire most.

It seems like Livermore now has an opportunity to make its image as a city even greater, where people can also experience its culture at a deeper level. It’s so unusual for a city to actually own its center land and to be able to re-shape it. How often do we get such an opportunity?

Our artists, The Bankhead, The Bothwell, our Shakespeare company, our Opera company, our rich world-renown Vintner culture, Lawrence Livermore Lab, the famous Livermore Rodeo....these are our unique inspirations! Let’s give more space to our center for all these facets of our community to spread out and thrive.

When I saw that in the latest plans, housing was replacing quite a bit more of the open space, I was upset and saddened. Of course, housing is great to have near downtown, but it really doesn’t need to overtake the very core! And what about the parking congestion that more housing will cause? For the most part, I was thinking we would hit close to the mark. There have been disagreements, but at least the open space was protected.

I don’t understand why our mayor and council aren’t taking a clear stand to protect our Downtown, our city’s heart! Now is the only chance we have to get it right! After the land is developed, it will be too late and that would be a missed golden opportunity for all the people who live here now, and all those who will call Livermore home in the future.