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Will Issue 4 save or ruin old Mason? Depends on who you ask

Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 20:02:39-04

MASON -- The economic future of Mason is at stake this November as voters decide whether they want to change the city's housing plan.

If voters approve the charter amendment known as Issue 4, it would allow the city to open up certain parts of Mason to developers of condominiums and apartments.

Todd Hudson, owner of the Wildflower Cafe, said the measure would uplift Mason.

"I want the ball to continue to roll, and I want to see more entrepreneurs come down here, make investments and turn these properties into what they should be," said Hudson.

Mason’s charter currently limits housing density to eight units per acre but Issue 4, if passed, would allow the city council to establish "overlay areas" where condos and apartments could be built. 

Mason residents only need to look at neighboring Deerfield Township to see what higher-density housing looks like. Several high-end apartment buildings and condo complexes have been built in Deerfield Township during the last decade as the township continues to grow. 

The language of Issue 4 hints at that recognition: "This recommendation was made based on recognized shifts in market demands, changing demographics and a desire for different living styles. Since that time, the need for change has been repeatedly discussed."

However, residents such as 93-year-old Bruce Hendricks see the proposal as a death knell to the small town they love so much.

"I think it's hopeless. It was a nice little town ... was," said Hendricks.

Hudson, on the other hand, is full of hope.

"I see downtown Mason as having so much potential. I would just love to see that happen," he said.