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Old 02-10-2012, 07:15 PM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,058 posts, read 60,642,093 times
Reputation: 20202

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Some posts about annexation:

With the exception of the first wo quotes, they are all whine, whine, whine about Pittsburgh's supposedly unique situation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyev View Post
The following excuses, regurgitated on this board, as far as I know are just pulled out of some politicians' butt without any facts or studies to back them up:

Pittsburgh can't grow its borders like other cities. Therefore Pittsburgh needs more money. Indianapolis, Lexington and Miami tried this. It just spread their misery.

If you find a city that can't annex anymore and is successful like, say, Dallas or Houston, it can't be compared to Pittsburgh because Pittsburgh is different:

Pittsburgh is the only city with a lot of non-profits gobbling up space:


People live in suburbs and work in the city. Even if Cranberry Township, Braddock, and North Findley township employ more people than actually live in their municipalities, just like Pittsburgh.

Annexation was a privilege enjoyed by northeastern cities during their periods of highest growth. This is why New York City is composed of five counties and how Pittsburgh got the neighborhoods of the North Side, Sheraden, Knoxville and the South Side. Eventually that unlimited annexation power is taken awa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
All right, I'll give you something from the book. I was with this guy until I read this:

How can a city grow when it is legally prevented from growing as a city? "Here in Pennsylvania," he writes, "unlike other parts of America where cities grow, no small municipality can be annexed without a majority of its citizens voting for the change."
Read more: O'Neill book expresses tough love for Pittsburgh

<snip>

Just what is this guy proposing. Forcible annexations?
In point of fact, that is the law in Colorado as well. Both the annexing city and the area to be annexed must vote in favor of the annexation, per the Colorado constitution. But hey, it's only in Pittsburgh, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supersoulty View Post
Alot of the largest and fasting growing cities in the country are also... well, quite large. Alot of the "newer" southern and western cities are granted vast amounts of territory, or live in states that have very friendly annexation policies for large cities. One example, in Oklahoma the law is that a larger city can annex any smaller municipality, so long as it surrounds it on three sides. So, the practice has become that local business organizations in Oklahoma City go out and buy enough tiny plots of land (often times no larger than a couple of square feet), in order to surround a nearby town on three sides. They then donate the plots to the City, and it exercises it's right to annex the town. Business interests are willing to do this, because united municipal areas are far better for the economic climate, since they are more economically stable, can offer better incentives to attract business, and they are fiscally healthier.

This is not a privilege enjoyed by most Northwestern cities, which are locked in their current boundaries by historic animosities. But Pittsburgh is particularly notable, in that it is the smallest core city, relative to its metro area, of any of the Top 50 largest metros in the country. Population wise, the city makes up only about 1/7th of the Pittsburgh metro.
The bold is totally untrue, particularly the statement in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
I think it has less to do with that, and more to do with the fact that Pennsylvania law makes annexation damn near impossible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Yeah, most of the municipalities which border Pittsburgh are part of the urban core, and could well have been part of the City if it had been more aggressive about annexation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Very interesting. Jacksonville is indeed one of those cities that went on an annexation binge recently, to the point that as the one map suggested, an equivalent version of Pittsburgh would be about the size of Allegheny County.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I think the seed of the idea isn't too mysterious. We don't seem to have had much annexation in the Northeast recently, and there are at least some cities out west that have been more aggressive about annexation recently, and that has led to some cities out west having faster population growth in part (but not exclusively) due to annexation. Again, I would agree it is overstating the point to turn this into a blanket generalization about annexation policies in the West, or to attribute all relative population trends to this factor. But while not excusing this habit, it isn't uncommon for people to take a few prominent examples of something partially true and turn them into a blanket generalization which has been overstated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
This very much does vary from state to state. I suspect the notion it is a western thing is coming mostly from Texas, Arizona (Phoenix is a notable example), and Southern California (Los Angeles is another notable example).

Of course as we have discussed before, this forms the basis of a good case for largely ignoring city boundaries when comparing urban regions, because there is indeed such a large variation in local policy.
Whereas, in fact, southern Calfornia contains three cities with larger populations and smaller physical size than Pittsburgh, Long Beach, Santa Ana and Anaheim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I second this notion, particularly if you are having any trouble finding places in the City itself. Really, those inner suburbs could have been part of the City, if it had a more aggressive annexation policy.

Edit: But see below for further discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
It is certainly relevant to our subconversation on annexation, since it expands our list of cities with recent annexations from three to four. On the other hand, I think it is over thirty cities that pass Pittsburgh when you move from the MSA rankings to the incorporated city rankings, and I'm not sure exactly how many of those cities would have to have added how much land area how recently in order to convince others it was in fact legitimate to raise annexation as part of the explanation for Pittsburgh's relatively low incorporated city ranking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifepgh2op View Post
I don't know if this is relevant (sorry if it's not)...but Austin, TX annexes land each year.

City of Austin - Annexation Process
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
But I have no idea if it ends at three. I'm just not interested enough to keep looking up the recent annexation history of a bunch of cities.

What is easy, however, is looking up how big the cities are currently, regardless of how they got there, since that information is readily available on Wikipedia. Again to make this less controversial, lets think about Boston, the #10 Metropolitan Area by population, and yet way down at #23 when you consider only the incorporated city.

So what happened? We already know Boston got passed by #5 Phoenix, which is only the #13 MSA but 517 square miles in size. It also got passed by #7 San Antonio, just #28 on the MSA list, but around 408 square miles in size. Similarly it was passed by #8 San Diego, #17 on the MSA list but 324 square miles. And #10 San Jose, #31 by MSA but 175 square miles. Detroit is about right in the city rankings at #11, but then you have Jacksonville at #12, #40 by MSA but 885 (!) square miles. #13 Indianapolis is a #33 MSA, but 372 square miles. Again #14 San Francisco is about right (a little low in fact), but #15 Columbus is the #32 MSA but 210 square miles. #16 Austin is the #37 MSA but 252 square miles. #17 Fort Worth isn't even an MSA in its own right, but for what it is worth it is 293 square miles. #18 Memphis is the #41 MSA but 302 square miles. #19 Charlotte is the #35 MSA but 280 square miles. Baltimore at #20 is about right. #21 El Paso is the #68 MSA but 249 square miles. #22 Milwaukee is the #38 MSA but 96 square miles. And thank goodness we are finally back to #23 Boston.

OK, so I think that is pretty good evidence that a lot of high-ranked incorporated cities (not all, but a lot of them) are getting relatively high rankings simply because they are relatively large in geographic size. Again I don't know exactly how they all got that way, but I think that is more than enough evidence to support the basic point that the incorporated city rankings are systematically less-than-useful.
Annexation, and western cities' policies regarding it, are a recurring sub-theme on this board.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:30 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,892,631 times
Reputation: 2827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Some posts about annexation . . .
None of which are from this thread.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,576 posts, read 936,713 times
Reputation: 1034
Dormont: Very dense, nice little business district, good access to the T. They have some sort of property tax/school issues going on that could have long-term negative effects if not managed wisely. I'm often seeing stories about the police and municipal gov't in the PG.

West Mifflin: Definitely not urban, but a large first ring suburb. Seems to me to be on the decline as older residents die and give up previously well-maintained homes; Mon Valley steel associated decline is taking effect later here than it did in its neighboring towns.

Homestead: Is it better now than before The Waterfront? More property tax revenue for the municipality, but does anyone see more of an upside (that is already in progress) than that?

Mt. Lebanon: Also borders the City, nice, but I rarely travel there for anything.

Green Tree: Nice, stable residential first ring community.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Leesburg
799 posts, read 709,174 times
Reputation: 232
It deserves its own thread, but Katiana brings up a salient point about Denver's annex history. Pittsburgh is too quick to settle on the woe is me story.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:14 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,892,631 times
Reputation: 2827
Quote:
Originally Posted by globalburgh View Post
It deserves its own thread
But as Katiana inadvertently pointed out, it has had its own thread before.

Moreover, if you look carefully at some of those posts, say the last one by me, then go look at the context, you will see that I have previously tried to get off the subject of comparing current annexation law city by city, because I don't think it is actually relevant to anything I am interested in discussing.

Rather, it is actually KATIANA who can't let the subject go, so much so that she brought it up in this thread even though no one mentioned annexation at all!

Of course if she wants to start her own thread on the subject, and see if anyone wants to discuss it with her, that is her business. But as far as this thread is concerned, the only person displaying an inexplicable obsession with the topic of annexation is Katiana herself.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Columbus, central city
1,225 posts, read 2,990,963 times
Reputation: 617
Want to clear up that most of the cities labeled as "annexation cities" here are, but Miami is actually not an annexation city. The city limits is around 35 sq. miles , in Miami. Miami is actually one of the largest metros with a small city limit size. Much more so than Pittsburgh.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:33 AM
 
1,520 posts, read 1,513,146 times
Reputation: 1027
St. Louis and Baltimore actually separated themselves from their county, and cannot annex at all. Boston, Miami, and San Francisco are probably the three largest metros with relatively small core cities. Places that are satellite cities, like Anahiem, should never be brought up when discussing places like Pittsburgh. Satellite cities are a totally different animal.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:44 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,664 posts, read 8,009,293 times
Reputation: 4234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Some posts about annexation:

With the exception of the first wo quotes, they are all whine, whine, whine about Pittsburgh's supposedly unique situation:
Yeah, I remember all that whining. I don't know of ANY first ring suburb that would want to be IN the city limits and if you get past the first ring, the number of suburbs that would want that would be zero. Too many disadvantages being in the city limits. Even when I lived in Sharpsburg, I would want that place to be "city".
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:03 AM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,058 posts, read 60,642,093 times
Reputation: 20202
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
But as Katiana inadvertently pointed out, it has had its own thread before.

Moreover, if you look carefully at some of those posts, say the last one by me, then go look at the context, you will see that I have previously tried to get off the subject of comparing current annexation law city by city, because I don't think it is actually relevant to anything I am interested in discussing.

Rather, it is actually KATIANA who can't let the subject go, so much so that she brought it up in this thread even though no one mentioned annexation at all!

Of course if she wants to start her own thread on the subject, and see if anyone wants to discuss it with her, that is her business. But as far as this thread is concerned, the only person displaying an inexplicable obsession with the topic of annexation is Katiana herself.
Actually, it was BrianTH who started this hijack about how Pittsburgh isn't a typical city in post number TWO (2)! BrianTH is the one who has the idea that the rules should be different for Pittsburgh. I responded to Brian, as he says one is supposed to do in a discussion board; apparently one is never to bring up new ideas around the OP unless one is BrianTH, and he got angry and started talking about me as if I weren't there.

Last edited by Katiana; 02-11-2012 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,576 posts, read 936,713 times
Reputation: 1034
Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
Yeah, I remember all that whining. I don't know of ANY first ring suburb that would want to be IN the city limits and if you get past the first ring, the number of suburbs that would want that would be zero. Too many disadvantages being in the city limits. Even when I lived in Sharpsburg, I would want that place to be "city".
Though none of these communities actually border the City, I would bet none of them would go for a merger if they did sit on the border, despite being three of the poorest in the County: Duquesne, Braddock, and Rankin.

So, do these tiny towns, including first ring ones, like Homestead and West Homestead have any hope for revitalization, or are they becoming more entrenched as welfare wards with a cheap housing draw?

I think that sprawl more accurately captures some of the sentiment around all the annexation talk that's become prevalent in this thread. I personally know someone - incidentally, who previously lived in a now declining first ring suburb -who had a new home built in the Cranberry area in the early 1990s in what had been until recently a farm field; they are now thinking of moving because the area is too developed...major fail. Where is the job that funds those housing decisions? Shadyside. Decades of this type of flight is what did a lot of these areas in and it will take a reversal of the sprawl trend to fix them back up.
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