While most in the Upper Arlington community eagerly await more details about the pending purchase of Kingsdale, local voters have another, earlier opportunity to support sensible redevelopment on a smaller scale when they go to the polls Nov. 4.

While most in the Upper Arlington community eagerly await more details about the pending purchase of Kingsdale, local voters have another, earlier opportunity to support sensible redevelopment on a smaller scale when they go to the polls Nov. 4.

Issue 51, which if approved will uphold council's rezoning of properties at 3371 and 3381 Tremont Road, is deserving of voter support. The proposal of Centro Inc. is to construct a single-story building to house doctors' offices. While it's just one small step in building the city's tax base, it adds value to the city's economy and will provide a convenient service for residents who'd prefer not to have to leave town to see the doc.

For those who don't routinely pass through the five-points intersection, especially on Tremont Road, the rezoned site is the third property north of that busy intersection on the west side of the road. It is two properties north of the Get-Go gas station and immediately beside a two-story office building. Across the street is another two-story office building and catty-cornered across Tremont is National City Bank. Behind those two businesses is a large parking lot, which also serves three other office buildings.

This is not your average residential neighborhood, despite protestations to the contrary. There are many residences in the vicinity -- nice ones, too -- but this is an area that has been in transition for at least a couple of decades.

Like the bank building on Northwest Boulevard developed just a few years ago (also by Centro), it is in an area with both commercial and residential use nearby. Like the bank, the rezoning became subject to a referendum and went on the ballot. The rezoning was upheld and the bank is open for business.

The property owners, two longtime residents, believed when they first took their plans to the Board of Zoning and Planning that they were offering the community something that would be good for the tax base and good for the lifestyle. They further believed, when they met such strong resistance in the neighborhood, that their efforts to lessen the building's impact by reducing their two-story structure to one story might be met with some appreciation and a spirit of compromise.

Wrong on both counts, evidently.

To be fair to the owners of abutting properties, change is always traumatic, and people are understandably emotional about their homes. That said, the level of animosity and the name-calling have been beyond uncivil.

City council and the city manager have been subject to similar treatment. In particular, they've been accused of picking on small property owners instead of "doing something" about Kingsdale. The problem is, the city doesn't own Kingsdale, and to date has been unable to get what it needs from those who do. The city is not in a position to make proposals. It can only evaluate, advise and, when appropriate, encourage those who undertake to develop or redevelop local properties.

Some may remember the city's abortive attempt several years ago to purchase a significant chunk of Kingsdale and have it developed according to the master plan. It was a bold plan, and an unusual one locally, but something that has been done with considerable success in some communities.

Raise your hand if you can remember what happened. That's right, a movement was begun to recall council members, and the collection of signatures was well under way. The movement derailed after council dropped its plan to make the purchase.

The developer of the Tremont Road property doesn't deserve to be called names, and the city doesn't deserve to be blamed for not doing what it cannot do. Reasonable proposals for development must be seriously considered in a community with no avenue for growth and only 5 percent of its land available to expand the tax base.

This plan is reasonable, and its location in a transitional neighborhood on a well-used street makes it a good idea. Support good planning for the future of Upper Arlington by voting yes on Issue 51.