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[Fwd: [urb-eco] 101 Project Could Take 800 Homes]

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... Subject: [urb-eco] 101 Project Could Take 800 Homes Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 07:38:31 -0700 (PDT) From: rickrise@earthlink.net Reply-To:
    Message 1 of 6 , May 7, 2003
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      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: [urb-eco] 101 Project Could Take 800 Homes
      Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 07:38:31 -0700 (PDT)
      From: rickrise@...
      Reply-To: urban-ecology@yahoogroups.com
      To: urban-ecology@yahoogroups.com

      From: Richard

      The usual shortsightedness and lack of imagination....

      --------------------
      101 Project Could Take 800 Homes
      --------------------

      Caltrans says the freeway widening might also destroy hundreds of other
      properties.

      By Caitlin Liu
      Times Staff Writer

      May 7 2003

      Nearly 800 residences, including houses and apartment buildings, could
      be demolished to make way for the proposed widening of the Ventura
      Freeway from Studio City to Thousand Oaks, according to the California
      Department of Transportation.

      The complete article can be viewed at:
      http://www.latimes.com/la-me-freeway7may07,0,3087841.story

      Visit Latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com

      --
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      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.living-room.org
      http://www.newcolonist.com

      "The struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."
      Milan Kundera

      “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
      George Orwell
    • Louis-Luc
      ... If you have the America LP from 1972 (or tape or CD), the one with Horse With No Name hit, listen to the song titled Ventura Highway . Listen to the
      Message 2 of 6 , May 7, 2003
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        > -------- Original Message --------
        > Subject: [urb-eco] 101 Project Could Take 800 Homes
        > Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 07:38:31 -0700 (PDT)
        > From: rickrise@...
        > Reply-To: urban-ecology@yahoogroups.com
        > To: urban-ecology@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > From: Richard
        >
        > The usual shortsightedness and lack of imagination....
        >
        > --------------------
        > 101 Project Could Take 800 Homes
        > --------------------
        >
        > Caltrans says the freeway widening might also destroy hundreds of other
        > properties.
        >
        > By Caitlin Liu
        > Times Staff Writer
        >
        > May 7 2003
        >
        > Nearly 800 residences, including houses and apartment buildings, could
        > be demolished to make way for the proposed widening of the Ventura
        > Freeway from Studio City to Thousand Oaks, according to the California
        > Department of Transportation.
        >

        If you have the "America" LP from 1972 (or tape or CD),
        the one with "Horse With No Name" hit, listen to
        the song titled "Ventura Highway".
        Listen to the lyrics that say you're walking on this highway, and enjoy your
        journey. What a contrast.

        Effectively those planners are just fools. I wonder why they're not fired,
        because they're destroying the future generations' life quality in that
        area, even if one's home is not demolished.
      • Matt Hohmeister
        This is yet another example of the mentality that vehicular movement takes precedence over absolutely everything else, including your private property [which
        Message 3 of 6 , May 8, 2003
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          This is yet another example of the mentality that vehicular movement
          takes precedence over absolutely everything else, including your
          private property [which could be DOT taking domain on your house, or
          Code Enforcement telling you that you must have parking at your
          house].

          I am currently living in an "inner suburb"--house built in 1964, on
          "only" a 14,000 square foot lot [living with parents--I did not choose
          this place :-)]. Down the hill from here, the city has had to buy a
          few houses that were built in the 1970s and demolish them to build a
          new stormwater retention pond. Why do they need a pond? To accomodate
          new suburban development/roads several miles away, leading to another
          problem related to going carfree:

          I see a serious sustainability problem here if we build houses, only
          to be torn down 30 years later to accomodate new development
          elsewhere. Within about a mile of my house, I can count 5 major
          abandoned storefronts: Publix, Winn-Dixie, Discount Auto Parts, Eckerd
          Drugs, and Service Merchandise [they abandoned one store and moved
          into a newly built mall-attached storefront across the street, only to
          go bankrupt 6 years later]. Not one of these stores lasted as long as
          30 yeas. If the abandoned K-Mart [which was razed and replaced by a
          Publix last year] sets any kind of example, these places will spend
          roughly 10 years abandoned [and turn into unofficial homeless
          shelters/crack dealerships] before they are razed to make way for
          other chain stores abanodining their previous property in favor of a
          newer, bigger, relocated store.

          This is "destroying the future generations' life quality" as I can see
          it. Today's new commercial developments are practically disposable,
          or, as I call it, modern-day slash-and-burn. The most recent example
          is that the local Wal-Mart serving the northeast "rich white suburbs"
          has moved about three miles north, abandoning a storefront that was
          less than 20 years old, on a road that I have seen go from 4 to 10
          lanes. So building abandonment is not just for inner suburbs--it's in
          the "rich white suburbs" too.

          If we go carfree, we are going to have to be more sensible in building
          sustainability. A carfree city should not not have abandoned 10,000
          square foot stores all over the place. Since our carfree city would
          not have land-use policies encouraging slash-and-burn [and developers
          know that they won't be getting free roads and stormwater], they
          ideally would start accomodating business change by remodeling
          existing builings.

          A different version of this happens with residences too. I don't see
          it as common to have an old quality house razed [except for the
          super-expensive canal-front properties in south Florida, where wealthy
          land buyers will have 5 year old McMansions razed for their own
          custom-built McMansions], but I've heard some people say that old
          houses are for "starting out" your family, and once you reach your 40s
          and have the money, you should buy a lot and have a new house
          custom-built. I'm sorry, but that's just not very sustainable.

          We also need to stop building ultracheap new houses with plastic
          interior doors, styrofoam-like synthetic stucco, slab foundations, and
          the like. The only way I can see to do this it to enforce a stricter
          residential building code, since commercial home builders seem less
          likely these days to care enough to build decent houses.

          Plus, this accounts for a lot of concrete, wood, steel, and everything
          else that goes into a building.

          > > Nearly 800 residences, including houses and apartment buildings,
          could
          > > be demolished to make way for the proposed widening of the Ventura
          > > Freeway from Studio City to Thousand Oaks, according to the
          California
          > > Department of Transportation.

          > Effectively those planners are just fools. I wonder why they're not
          fired,
          > because they're destroying the future generations' life quality in
          that
          > area, even if one's home is not demolished.
        • Patrick J McDonough
          Matt, Check this out- Charlotte requires money to tear down vacant big boxes up front now. http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/3484745.htm Get out
          Message 4 of 6 , May 8, 2003
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            Matt,

            Check this out- Charlotte requires money to tear down vacant big boxes up
            front now.

            http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/3484745.htm

            Get out and fight for these kind of things in your town- they're not
            perfect, and they still acknowledge a commitment to courting big-box
            retail development, but they do put it in a more sustainable context.

            Patrick McDonough

            > Within about a mile of my house, I can count 5 major
            > abandoned storefronts: Publix, Winn-Dixie, Discount Auto Parts, Eckerd
            > Drugs, and Service Merchandise [they abandoned one store and moved
            > into a newly built mall-attached storefront across the street, only to
            > go bankrupt 6 years later]. Not one of these stores lasted as long as
            > 30 yeas. If the abandoned K-Mart [which was razed and replaced by a
            > Publix last year] sets any kind of example, these places will spend
            > roughly 10 years abandoned [and turn into unofficial homeless
            > shelters/crack dealerships] before they are razed to make way for
            > other chain stores abanodining their previous property in favor of a
            > newer, bigger, relocated store.
          • Matt Hohmeister
            Developers have countered that the chains that stamp out big boxes will simply move outside the county limits if they can t build what they want within
            Message 5 of 6 , May 8, 2003
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              "Developers have countered that the chains that stamp out big boxes
              will simply move outside the county limits if they can't build what
              they want within Charlotte's planning jurisdiction, which includes
              much of the unincorporated part of the county."

              Call me a paranoid doomsayer, but I have a feeling that this will
              happen here. The Tallahassee city limits do not blanket the whole
              county--in fact, the city limit lines are pretty much gerrymandered,
              snaking out to reach some suburbs that want to be in an incorporated
              city, and bouncing back where there are neighborhoods whose residents
              don't want to pay city property tax.

              I believe our new Wal-Mart is outside the city limits [unincorporated
              Leon County], nixing any city ordinances. Our sprawl hinges on the
              ever-changing city lines, and I fear the day when it reaches the
              county line and we start getting suburban sprawl in south Georgia.
              That's when the political nightmares would start with who is
              responsible for roads, schools, and emergency services.

              As much as I really don't want to see the carnage, I will be
              interested to see what happens to our suburbs in the long run, say,
              the next 50 years. Suburbs really aren't old enough to see the true
              test of time--Tallahassee's oldest sprawl-malls were built in the
              1970s. Are we going to continue a slash-and-burn cycle? Will my kids
              know a true urban area where Mom or Dad don't have to drive them
              everywhere? I hate to discuss family, but will my hypothetical wife
              insist on living in a suburb to escape the deteriorating urban
              neighborhoods? I honestly do not want my children to spend 18 years
              living in a vinyl McHouse and attending a school that looks more like
              an aircraft hangar, complete with 100-yard grass buffers on all sides
              and chainlink fences.

              Am I ranting? Yes. Am I paranoid? Yes. Am I looking too far forward?
              Maybe. However, these are legitimate concerns. I have lived in seven
              different residences my whole life, the oldest built in 1918, the
              newest, 1972. I've been fortunate to always live in a convenient
              location. My children might not be as fortunate to have such choices.

              If my son stays after school for a band rehearsal, I want him to be
              able to reasonably walk home. I don't want to hear my children whining
              about having cars from 16th birthday to the day I give them cars. Oh
              yeah--and I don't want a deputy at my door to tell me that my daughter
              died in a car accident.

              I guess I'll have to wait it out to see what happens.

              > Matt,
              >
              > Check this out- Charlotte requires money to tear down vacant big
              boxes up
              > front now.
              >
              > http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/3484745.htm
              >
              > Get out and fight for these kind of things in your town- they're not
              > perfect, and they still acknowledge a commitment to courting big-box
              > retail development, but they do put it in a more sustainable
              context.
              >
            • Patrick McDonough
              Matt wrote: Call me a paranoid doomsayer, but Okay, you re a paranoid doomsayer. I sympathize with your frustration, but don t let it lead to paralysis. I
              Message 6 of 6 , May 9, 2003
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                Matt wrote:
                "Call me a paranoid doomsayer, but"

                Okay, you're a paranoid doomsayer. I sympathize with your frustration, but
                don't let it lead to paralysis. I highly doubt a big box ordinance like
                Charlotte's will drive where big boxes get built as much as roadway
                improvements and population. Of course, assuming there is some kind of
                county, you could get them to pass a similar ordinance. The rural character
                argument will probably resonate with either.

                One thing the boxes don't want you to know is that they pick their locations
                very carefully, and then threaten to move if they don't get their way. A
                lot of them will make concessions in order to be in a prime retail location.
                Of course, getting politicians to stand on such firm ground is the trick.

                Anyway- you're certainly allowed to be angry with the status quo; I know,
                I've been there. However, find an idea for change and improvement you can
                get behind, and stick with it. That's the best way to help ensure your kid
                can one day walk home from band practice, unless he's got an interest in the
                tuba.
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