Infinite expansion(?) [Was: Re: Charlotte, NC Big Box Ordinance]
- "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,boxes up
> Check this out- Charlotte requires money to tear down vacant big
> front now.context.
> 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
- 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