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Infinite expansion(?) [Was: Re: Charlotte, NC Big Box Ordinance]

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  • 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 1 of 6 , May 8 10:57 PM
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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
    • 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 2 of 6 , May 9 4:50 AM
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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
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