We took a walk around Nash Farm earlier this week. We did this not because it is something we often do, but because it is something we will not be able to freely do for very long. We took photos during our walk. We admired the farm. Watched as kids chased butterflies and played chase in and around the trees. Nash Farm is a great farm, a place of community pride, and an important piece of Grapevine’s history.
Nash Farm will soon be fenced in and locked up as decided by the Grapevine Heritage Foundation and the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau. It may be available during very limited hours of the day as set by the city. Who will want to visit Nash Farm only during business hours? Who will want to go through gates and check points to do so? Not many.
During our walk, we reflected on the meeting the city held asking for citizen input on the future of Nash Farm. Residents were offered only a couple of choices in regard to the future. One of the choices was – What type of fence would you like enclosing Nash Farm? We did not see the option for – no fence at all. One of the options was – Which architectural drawing regarding the placement of new buildings do you like? We did not see the option for – no new buildings at all, thank you.
Many more things are puzzling about the community input meeting and the changes coming to Nash Farm.
1. How much did the city involve the people that actually live in the neighborhoods surrounding Nash Farm in the decision making process?
We have asked around a bit and it sounds like the city involved the people who live in the surrounding neighborhoods of Nash Farm about as much as is required by law. In other words, not much at all.
At the community meeting on the future of Nash Farm, the master plan for Nash Farm was mentioned several times. Where is that plan located? Technology is a great thing. If the city so desired, the plan could easily be made available to all. Unfortunately, it is not.
Since we have not seen a plan (and we’ve looked) we can only be left to guess about what the city plans to do with the farm. When you fence in the farm and add gates the next obvious step would be to start charging admission. Some might be surprised when this happens. We won’t.
Then the city will likely come back and say, “It was in the Master Plan all along.”
So we ask again, where is this master plan?
3. What about the deed restrictions that were agreed to upon the city’s purchase of Nash Farm?
The city entered into agreements upon the purchase of Nash Farm that are not being followed today and based on recent votes by the Grapevine Heritage Foundation they do not plan to follow in the future. Is this commonplace? Acquire a new property and then ignore the agreement you signed off on?
4. Are the decisions around the future of Nash Farm really just a microcosm of how the city operates?
The obvious intent is to make Grapevine the “Family Fun Time Tourist Capital of Texas*.” No need to worry about neighborhoods and residents, deed restrictions, and presenting actual documented plans to anyone.
Enjoy Nash Farm while you can. The freedom to stroll around the farm, take photos, and watch kids play among the trees whenever you want will soon be gone.
*Note: We came up with the “Family Fun Time Tourist Capital of Texas” ourselves, but our guess is it will not be long before it is adopted by the city officially.