Tyler, and really East Texas in general, is constantly expanding. Just look at any small town in our counties and pretty much every one of them have grown to some degree over the last couple of decades. That growth means that more land is going to be used for either residential or business purposes. For one portion of Tyler, residents are not happy about a new shopping center going in because of the beauty and shelter that's being taken away.

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Seeing My Hometown of Lindale Expanding

I was born in Tyler and raised in Lindale. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in off of Jim Hogg Road. When I graduated high school in 1996, there was no Walmart, no Whataburger, no Lowe's, only a small collection of mom and pop businesses and some fast food stops off of Interstate 20. The population was just under 2,500, too.

Now there is a Walmart, a Lowe's, a Whataburger with a second one on the way, a Chick-Fil-A, several banks, five school campuses and a population just over 6,000 now. Even the area around my parents that was nothing but pasture or open land is now filled with houses and neighborhoods. I noticed an area on Brick Yard Road that was nothing but woods is now being cleared out for what I can assume is a residential area.

Progress is Great But Sometimes the Sacrifice is Great

For Lindale's neighbor, Tyler, expansion is even greater. Sure there are lots of residential areas popping up but a lot of retail space, too. The Village at Cumberland Park opened a few years ago with a plethora of new shopping options in an area that was nothing but woods. Now an area is being cleared across from The Village at Cumberland Park that has left some residents with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media

The Biggest Complaint with the Progress

The biggest complaint that I saw on the Tyler, Texas Rants, Raves and Recommendations Facebook group was of losing those trees because of this new construction. Some were saying how this only makes the city uglier because of those trees being taken away (I mean, they're not wrong) others were saying how the clearing will displace what animals lived in that area (again, they're not wrong) and where will they go (probably into someone's yard). Other's were questioning why the trees were being burned instead of repurposed (another great question).

And I saw them burning the trees after they were cut. All of that sequestered carbon, gone up in smoke and into the atmosphere. It could have been mulched and I would have happily taken as much as possible. My heart aches for the planet. - Savannah Anleifr

The Other Side of the Argument

The cutting down of trees is the price of capitalism. Companies want to build to bring in businesses that people will be able to shop at so some money can be made. Its a machine that can't be stopped.

What will be going into the new shopping center?

Rumors started flying in March when a schematic was released of The Cumberland Shoppes showing Costco's logo on the south end of the development. Unfortunately, that schematic was incorrect, meaning no Costco is coming to Tyler. As for what else is going in there, that's still up in the air.

There really is no gray area in this argument, you either love the progress or hate losing all of the greenery. Progress, however, will eventually win out just about anywhere.

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