Mailing Mix-Up Mars Corporation’s Quest For Comments On Proposed New Grocery Store, Shopping Center

resentation of Commercial Center Proposal Set For April 5 Signal Planning Commission Meeting

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - by Judy Frank
Signal Mountain residents opened their mailboxes Monday to find fancy brochures featuring colorful architects’ sketches of a proposed new grocery store and commercial center a North Carolina corporation hopes to construct along both sides of Taft Highway. 

The proposal by the Keith Corporation (TKC)  is expected to be formally presented at the April 5 meeting of the Signal Mountain Planning Commission.
 

Part of an ambitious marketing plan aimed at winning public support for the proposal, Monday’s brochures from TKC included a detachable card on which readers were urged to write their comments, then stamp and drop the documents in the mail. 

“We want to hear from you,” they trumpeted. 

A closer look, however, revealed – in smaller print, on another section of the brochures – these much less noticeable words: “All comments are welcome through March 15, 2018.”  

In no time, Signal bloggers were on League of Signal Mountain Voters talking about TKC’s latest effort to build support for its proposed development. 

“We got a mailing from The Shoppes At Signal today asking us to respond to their plans on an enclosed post card,” one woman wrote. “Look for yours and be sure to mail it back!” 

“Look at the dates,” another responded. 

“Got my card today, March 19,” a third woman noted. “So much for welcoming my comments!” 

Soon, however, would-be responders found their way to: https://www.shoppesatsignalmountain.com/comments/ 
where TKC reportedly still is accepting comments. 

Proponents of the proposed development defended TKC and said there was nothing sinister in the arrival of the brochures four days after the deadline for making comments. 

“Try to be open mined and not so paranoid that they’re trying to pull one over on you,” wrote Mindy Deutsch Sanders, who noted that the brochures were supposed to have been mailed out on March 1. 

“As the owner of Threads, one of the small businesses that rent from the Keith Corporation, I strongly support their proposed development,” she said.



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