Panel discussion on the bamberg business park: concentrated information and contentious issues

Panel discussion on the Bamberg business park: concentrated information and contentious issues

What are the arguments in favor of a 47-hectare commercial area on the former muna site, and what are the arguments against it?? Flanked by expert supporters, mayor andreas starke (SPD) and mayor christian lange (CSU) represented the council petition for the project, while karin einwag and volker braun represented the citizens’ petition calling for a halt to the development plan in question. At the beginning, the clear majority of the 220 visitors had signaled with colored voting cards that they sympathized with the proposal of the citizen initiative. However, there were definitely still some undecideds.

"No matter how the burgers vote on 18. November goes out, we will continue to talk to each other", had already made a strong impression at the beginning. The 429 development plan process has already gone through several stages, and the city has shown a willingness to compromise, going from an initial 80 hectares of commercial space down to 54, of which 47 now remain. The city council decision of 26. September is binding as far as the companies to be located in the business park are concerned. 83 hectares on the muna site have been ecologically upgraded or turned into a recreational area, contaminated sites have been removed beforehand. "We from the BI have considerable doubts that anything new and sustainable is possible at all with this development plan. We are concerned with the question of what forest needs to be destroyed", braun, on the other hand, explained.

Discussions about unclear flat specifications

Some discussions relax this evening around terms and flat specifications. Both parties accused each other of trying to confuse the burghers. Einwag emphasized that it is not just about the 47 hectares of commercial land, but that 52 hectares of forest have been destroyed there, and that the total area affected is 70 hectares. Braun explained that this value is made up of commercial and traffic areas, but also tree fall lines, ditch bedding and flood ditches.

More on the topic: future of muna land – burgerinitiative is narrowly ahead

The results of a survey on the referendum, presented this evening by zoltan juhasz, showed that there is currently a narrow majority (48 percent to 41 percent) against the business park, but also many undecided and people who do not feel sufficiently informed.

No all-or-nothing solution for muna

"There is still a lot that can be done. I promote the council, the city council has made several steps towards the BI", said long. "If the development plan is rejected, the area will remain in the possession of bima, it will remain fenced in, we will not be able to design anything for the city there." OB stark made it clear that he was keen to find an "all or nothing" solution to avoid: "the pressure will not decrease if the council petition is successful. And if the burger initiative prevails, the city society will not accept that the contaminated sites are not removed and that the muna can still not be accessed." Burgermeister lange could even imagine that an agreement could be reached with the burgers’ initiative before the decision is made.

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"The easy way is not always the better way", on the other hand einwag explained. "Let’s give the city leadership a task to think about. Nothing is lost if we wait another year and win a good development plan in that time." Both opponents and supporters of the development plan agreed that the people of bamberg should vote on the 18. November should take part in the vote – if this has not already been done in the way of the brieahl.

Which companies want to move to the business park??

Representatives of the bamberg chamber of commerce and industry and the chamber of handicrafts made it clear that interest in the geisfelder strabe business park was high. "We have discussed the pros and cons in our committee, and there is a clear majority in favor of the commercial area. The companies in bamberg lack the air to breathe, they need new areas", explained ursula kraub. "Many bamberg family businesses have been counting on the conversion site to offer flat land", said florian muller. "They want to remain bamberger and still expand. If this does not succeed, they will have to migrate. Matthias grabmann reports something similar for the skilled trades, where many businesses are located in the middle of residential or mixed-use areas. Burgermeister lange sees danger that jobs will be lost in bamberg. And HWK chief executive thomas koller reported on his chamber’s plans to build a training center in western upper franconia, with clear preferences for bamberg. But that would require 2.5 to four hectares of flat land.

Alternative flat to the muna available

Volker braun conceded on behalf of the citizens’ initiative that business is necessary and that flat land is needed. But it is also about the way there. "The city of bamberg had a chance to get away from the whole area requirement run." There are more than 20 hectares of unused commercial land in bamberg, decentralized, scattered – but available. Economic advisor stefan goller replied that these flat areas were all smaller than one hectare and therefore did not meet the requirements of the businesses. "There are only small and smallest plots. Across the city, without development, without building rights. The only development possibility is the muna."

More about muna: dispute over business park in bamberg – city and citizens’ initiative now advertise in "laden"

"Do more business sites mean more business taxes?? Sometimes it’s like playing the lottery", says long-time GAL city councilor peter gack. "The city is being wasteful with commercial land, at laubanger or on the sperberge land. It needs to be used more sparingly when flat land is so scarce." His party colleague ursula sowa thinks one can already "develop visions for the muna region. If we had had a little more time, we would have found a great solution". The HWK training center, on the other hand, would like to see something like this "in the city, I’ve already had three good suggestions, which I won’t reveal here".

"Thank god, it’s now undisputed that we need commercial space," says meteorologist thomas f, OB explained strong. "We try to use the munagland while keeping a balance between economy and ecology." Without commercial tax revenues, the city would no longer be able to meet its growing responsibilities, such as school renovations or the expansion of daycare centers. If the council petition is successful, the development plan can be completed and it can be decided who is allowed on the land: "companies without a large demand for land, preferably to bamberg companies that make existing land available as living space." Karin einwag, on the other hand, doubted that it could be implemented in this way.

What is sealed and what is not?

One of the numbers that the city and BI disagree on is that of sealed surfaces. The initiative is guided by the aerial photograph, which shows at most eight hectares of such flat areas, while the conversion office uses GIS data and arrives at 27 hectares of sealed flat areas.

"A large part of the muna is natural forest. Trees grow on bunkers that are 20 meters high and 85 years old", says martin bucker, whom the citizens’ initiative sent to the podium as an expert on this issue. For bucker, these are not sealed areas, but for harald lang, head of the conversion office, they are. The same applies to roads, on which a layer of humus has now formed. "We can’t just go by appearances. We also have to see what lies beneath the earth", says lang.

Valuable land is not taken into account

Some particularly valuable areas were not taken into account in the development plan, explains bucker. This applies, for example, to the northeastern area of the muna region, regardless of the railroad tracks that run through it. "Nothing is built over that could not be replaced", says biologist beate bugla, who was commissioned by the city to prepare an expert opinion for the development plan. The entire area has been mapped, and protected plants and animal species have been recorded.

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"The forest plays an immense role for the climate in the city," says biologist, says meteorologist thomas foken. 50 hectares of forest could store 600 tons of carbon dioxide, traceably cooling the adjacent areas. Lang referred to the climate report of the german weather service, the fresh air arrives in the east of bamberg, even if somewhat delayed. Fresh air corridors have also been planned. The development plan deals "not only with the small muna, but with the whole of bamberg-east". There are many issues, such as flood protection, without new ditches you are far from being able to cope with a 100-year flood.

Pollutants could become problematic

Contaminated sites also remain a major issue. "Groundwater monitoring wells show that all suspected pollutants are still just below the limits for an undeveloped zone. But what about five years from now – especially since the direction of flow is in the direction of the drinking water wells??", asks lang. Volker braun demands that bima be made responsible for this issue: "if the political will is awakened for the federal government to take over, then this goal can also be achieved."

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