Better East Texas: Pros, cons of potential Chinese student development

(KLTV) - Recently, discussion and debate has been brewing on a potential new planned community on Tyler's west side.

There is a 170-acre plot of land that is currently not developed, but could be if a proposal passes the Tyler Zoning Commission.  The development is very unique as it would be home to thousands of Chinese families.

Now, these Chinese families would live and work in East Texas and most of the families would have students attending U T Tyler.  It is a unique concept, but there has been a lot of push back on moving forward with the project. Initially, there were thoughts that this would cost the City of Tyler money, so an economic impact study was done.  According the study, the city would actually benefit economically.

Some have thought that UT Tyler was pushing for the project because of the potential growth in student population. But while UTT would benefit, they remain neutral on the project. For what it is worth, U T Tyler is already one of the fastest growing universities in the state.

So why the backlash?

As a country, we have had tremendous political pressure and struggle with China, so is there apprehension about those struggles and how we would handle it as a community?  Would we feel different if this was a development bringing Canadians to East Texas?

Ultimately, there may not be a legal reason to reject the project, so Tyler residents may have to prepare to adapt to a very multi-cultural city.  We'll have more discussion on this soon and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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