As a nearly lifelong resident of north Lafayette, I am naturally pleased with the extensive economic development taking place on my lovely side of town ("Northern Exposure," April 13).

We Northsiders, of course, did not need the blessing nor the validation of others to convince us of the value and beauty of our portion of the parish. Our pride is evident in the continued presence of an overwhelming amount of old growth trees, the thriving of small, independent businesses and the fact that we can actually name the familial lineage of most of our neighbors.

Herein lies my worry about all this exciting news ' I don't want to lose what is inherently unique about our area in the name of development. Fellow Northsiders, don't allow our area to turn into the awful concrete jungle that is most of the south side. Don't allow the lure of big name chains to deter your weekly visits to the mom-and-pop shops that dot our streets. Demand that greenery be an integral part of new neighborhoods, businesses and shopping centers (If you need to proof that this is possible, take a drive down to the intersection of Pont des Mouton and Moss St. for an excellent example.) Make sure that housing lots involve a bit more than ten feet between neighbors and the utter absence of trees.

Congrats, north side, for coming into your own ' let's make sure the future is a glorified version of what we have now and not the obliteration of it.

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