ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Friday, August 30, 2013

Put the blame for urbanization where it belongs.

So many people are concerned about what they are calling "Agenda 21" and scare others by saying that "they" (the government) will be taking us out of our houses and forcing us into pack and stack - and taking our cars away and forcing us onto bicycles.

Let's look at this issue more realistically.

Some years ago, the environmentalists convinced the voters to create and maintain open space areas.  That meant no new development in the hills.  Property owners - like my friend Lowell Gratin - were not allowed to develop their own properties.

Since they "land-locked" us and we had a huge need for housing - and in particular for housing reasonably priced enough to allow our workers (police, fire, teachers, etc.) to be able to live close to work.

So, city planners changed their restrictive building plans (single story houses & one story strip shopping centers) to allow builders to build two, three and sometimes as many as five stories.

Transit - public transportation - became more important in their eyes (government officials) than more roads and highways.

Putting the two together - developing more density in transit corridors.

Since, like most other professions, people in the same profession read the same books and articles, take the same courses in college and attend the same conferences - most cities adopted a plan allowing for urbanization, mixed use development - increased public transit and moving it all conveniently together.

Now, if - and only if - all of this was done by free choice it would have been fine.

Where is becomes dangerous is when government mandates - force - becomes the determinant.  If eminent domain is used to take people out of their homes and/or remove businesses from the strips - without taking their needs and wants into consideration + fair compensation - then we should be fighting it.

Fight the use of force.  Fight the faulty regulations.  But, please stay practical and realistic

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