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Conflicted evening...(6 posts)

Conflicted evening...FTMD
Dec 11, 2003 1:26 PM
I purchased my house for three reasons, it was a mile from work, access to a popular road cycling area was immediately accessible and the home itself was is a smaller two bedroom, one bath structure that is really more than I need being single with no kids. This particular riding area is generally agricultural, and contains several small cities or townships (villages really) that oppose density in population and so far your typical sprawl type development has not occurred. The boundaries of my playground do touch, however, several larger cities that are pro-development and do encourage large-scale residential development. My office has been hired to provide legal representation to one of these larger cities. Last night, at an aldermanic meeting, a large 500 home subdivision was approved along one of the roads I ride almost every time I'm out. It was very frustrating to sit there and watch the process that will now put more vehicles on the same roads I cherish due to their lack of traffic. If a developer meets the city's criteria, there's little or nothing that can be done to block the development. Sure, concessions can be extracted from the developer, but the project itself cannot be stopped absent good justification.

I'm not ranting against those that buy these homes, or trying to start an urban sprawl flame war. I'm just somehow trying to express the conflicted feelings I had. On one hand, I was doing the job I had been assigned, but it was also disheartening to watch what was mostly likely the beginning of the end. I was naive to think it wouldn't happen, but had hoped it wouldn't even so.

Hopefully most of you will understand what I'm trying to convey. Thanks.
I understand completelyDave Hickey
Dec 11, 2003 1:39 PM
My favorite riding areas have gotten farther and farther away from my home. New subdivision are going up weekly the DFW area. I used to be able to ride about 5 miles and be in the country. Now it's closer to 10 miles.

On the other hand, the value of my home keeps climbing as the area gets more populated.
Sorry pal, but you're part of the problemRoyGBiv
Dec 11, 2003 1:40 PM
Urban sprawl is a serious issue - certainly in this neck of the woods - and developers, politicians and, yes, lawyers seem to be hell-bent on chewing up the countryside under the guise of jobs, taxes and growth. Why not utilize brownfields in the urban core and build up - rather than out?
But at least you acknowledge your conflict of interest.
Guess you're gonna have to move further afield.
Actually, NOT part of the problem.dr hoo
Dec 11, 2003 1:58 PM
Anyone that lives 1 mile from work is NOT part of the problem of sprawl.

Housing developments are troubling when they are just houses. I prefer to see multi use developments, where (lower income) apartments are put above commercial/retail spaces, and larger houses are placed nearby. By developing with a mixed income/mixed use plan, you improve quality of life and lower the need for car trips.

But most zoning ordinances forbid this type of mixed use development.

The best thing you can do is work with the city to come up with a development plan that makes for a place where you want to live. But even then, you will soon be surrounded.
what is the solution?Duane Gran
Dec 12, 2003 8:20 AM
I'm interested to know the solution to the problem. People need someplace to live. From what I can tell, people try to live close to their workplace. See "Choice of Present Neighborhood" from the following census data:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/01dtchrt/tab2-11.html

I'm sensitive to the whole urban sprawl issue, but I would like to see a solution that didn't involve living on a postage stamp plot of land downtown or in a high rise building. Is there an alternative?
No, I think you've addressed the solution...TJeanloz
Dec 12, 2003 8:40 AM
And you don't like it: "that didn't involve living on a postage stamp plot of land downtown or in a high rise building".

This is the problem - that people don't WANT to live in high density environments. As long as people don't want to do it, it isn't going to happen.

BTW, I'm not saying it's wrong to live in low-density housing, I think there's a human desire to be "close to the land" on many levels. I do think it's wrong to vehemently oppose "sprawl", and live in low-density suburbia. If you're going to sprawl, you might as well concede that others have the right to do the same.