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Old 11-14-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,463 posts, read 11,974,220 times
Reputation: 31635

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'Downtowns' are the first to go in so many communities. St. Louis' downtown is nothing like it was when I was a teenager. And now the 'downtown' section of the little towns around here are sadly declining. Whether it is due to big box stores coming in, depression, recession, what ever, it has reduced the number of family owned businesses all over.

This is not about Rolla or even Springfield, but one area that is strikingly changed are the Manchester/Ballwin communities in St. Louis County. In the mid and late 50s this was still mostly farm land. We bought a home in a 'new' subdivision in 1954 off of Highway 100. Cute little 'box'. lol

I think there were 5 different house plans offered. All 3 BR,1 BA, full basement on 1 acre of land. Ex farm land! Hilly area, little winding roads going through our new home community. How quaint it appeared to us. Rose coloured, white, dark and light brown, no blues nor any greens that I remember!

A few years ago I took a drive and was amazed, disgusted, shocked (not really), and saddened to see what has happened to this once green and somewhat peaceful spot of rural Missouri. Oh I know, our home was just the beginning of something. Something that we all would prefer not to have happened.

Springfield/Branson still does have natural areas, as does Rolla and so many other places in our state. Won't stay this way forever. I do not want nor see the need for additional government intervention. I kinda like smaller government and more power to the local people. People that will use the so called common sense that the good Lord gave us/them.

I am an ex Realtor. I loved selling homes, selling land, farms, businesses. Was mostly happier to sell existing homes rather than 'bare' land (is there such a thing?) Hoped that the buyer(s) would see potential in a home already built. Or bought older, abandoned farms and restored the property to some semblance of it's historical value. Can't please everyone though.

Little Boxes? Yep, lived in two or three over the years. Yuk!
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:44 PM
 
270 posts, read 569,771 times
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The unwise use of land across the world is disturbing to me. I don't think it's healthy to have every inch of space covered in concrete or lawn grass. There's plenty of land, but we need to plan its use and use it wisely. Unchecked housing and retail developments should not spoil the highest quality hunting and recreational areas. If we allow that to happen, MO will be a lot less special of a place going into the future.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 30,340,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtwobaldguy View Post
The unwise use of land across the world is disturbing to me. I don't think it's healthy to have every inch of space covered in concrete or lawn grass. There's plenty of land, but we need to plan its use and use it wisely. Unchecked housing and retail developments should not spoil the highest quality hunting and recreational areas. If we allow that to happen, MO will be a lot less special of a place going into the future.

I couldn't agree more. My little island home was in Orange County, CA. Back in the 50s and 60s the entire county was full of orange groves and there were two-lane farm roads connecting towns which were fairly widely spaced apart. Even Disneyland, when it opened in 1955 (I was there that day) was surrounded by strawberry fields and those were bordered by orange groves.

I left the military in the late 70s and returned to CA, from which I'd been gone for some years. Flying over Orange County I couldn't believe it. I don't think there was an orange tree left, much less a grove, and it was all buildings and cement. I don't believe all that development and change improved the quality of life one whit except for those who profited most from it, but at what cost?

It's these experiences that shape my attitude towards so-called progress.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:45 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,055,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwoods Voyager View Post
'Downtowns' are the first to go in so many communities. St. Louis' downtown is nothing like it was when I was a teenager. And now the 'downtown' section of the little towns around here are sadly declining. Whether it is due to big box stores coming in, depression, recession, what ever, it has reduced the number of family owned businesses all over
Downtown St. Louis is improving. Washington Avenue has turned into a swanky nightlife destination, and many of the formerly abandoned buildings have been converted into lofts. I know OB may dislike upper-crust urban yuppie folks, but at least these types are existing in a pre-existing and historic city rather than gobbling up more land at the urban fringe of St. Louis.

I personally find suburban sprawl very unappealing. I like living in the city (I live in a early 20th century apartment building in a historic neighborhood and enjoy a 1-mile walk to work), and I also loved living out in the middle of nowhere while growing up. To me, the suburbs are the worst of both worlds. All of the hassle of living in an urban area with little of the convenience and vibrancy, and little of the nature and peacefulness of living in a rural area. Then again, maybe I'm just your typical twentysomething suburb-hater.

Rural Missouri does not need more vinyl subdivisions and chain stores. Sadly, Springfield, Joplin, and even smaller locales like Rolla and West Plains seem to think that is good growth. Rural Missouri needs sustainable job and salary growth so a fifth of the population isn't living below the poverty level, which is the case in many counties in the Ozarks.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,173,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
Downtown St. Louis is improving. Washington Avenue has turned into a swanky nightlife destination, and many of the formerly abandoned buildings have been converted into lofts. I know OB may dislike upper-crust urban yuppie folks, but at least these types are existing in a pre-existing and historic city rather than gobbling up more land at the urban fringe of St. Louis.
In their own habitat, these creatures no doubt fill a necessary role in the socio-economic system, just as copperheads, in their own habitat, fill a necessary role in the ecosystem. Live and let live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
Rural Missouri needs sustainable job and salary growth so a fifth of the population isn't living below the poverty level, which is the case in many counties in the Ozarks.
What are your ideas on attaining that goal?
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:19 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
15,296 posts, read 7,151,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
I personally find suburban sprawl very unappealing. I like living in the city (I live in a early 20th century apartment building in a historic neighborhood and enjoy a 1-mile walk to work), and I also loved living out in the middle of nowhere while growing up. To me, the suburbs are the worst of both worlds. All of the hassle of living in an urban area with little of the convenience and vibrancy, and little of the nature and peacefulness of living in a rural area. Then again, maybe I'm just your typical twentysomething suburb-hater.
Honestly OA, I had a lot of friends in my twenties that felt the same way..... Until they married and began raising children. A friend of mine and his wife bought there first home in St. Louis. They considered themselves as part of a movement back to the urban way of life and said how much they disliked suburbia. It was a cool Tudor style home in South Hampton not far from where my dad grew up. Most of his neighbors were childless twentysomethings.

They have 2 kids now..... And they high tailed it to St. Charles in no time.

My parents lived in the city of St. Louis when they first married. They bought their first home in the county and I'm thankful they did. My brother and I were able to grow up in a decent neighborhood AND get a decent education. "Worst of both worlds"?? Those words don't even come to mind when I look back on my days growing up.

If you had kids, would you want to send them to the St. Louis Public Schools?


Everything changes when you want to raise a family. Being trendy and hip is way down on the priority list.

And I know someone will bring up the issue of bulldozing open space, but I could also bring up the point of how urban gentrification has an extremely negative impact on affordable housing for low income residents that have resided there far longer.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:27 PM
 
270 posts, read 569,771 times
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I am very against urban sprawl due to its effects on our wild places, but I also understand and respect the situation described above. Kids are absolutely a game changer as far as where one can live. No one wants to have their kids grow up in places where the other kids are out of control like they are in many metro areas. What's worse is the school systems often blame the victims in such areas, and suspend the students who were the ones being attacked to seem "fair" as in the brutal attack of Kristin Phillips by 5+ people.

I would never ask anyone to send their kids to such a school system where the emphasis is on protecting the next generation of criminals rather than providing a quality learning environment and the best education possible. A lot of us still have visions of pleasant neighbors, a warm community, and safe schools. I think these are noble wishes, but I hope that everyone can also keep in mind the need to preserve our historic landscape while purchasing properties in previously undeveloped areas and begin to consider the wisest use of each acre of the land.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Moved to town. Miss 'my' woods and critters.
25,463 posts, read 11,974,220 times
Reputation: 31635
I spent most of my younger years living in St. Louis proper. Marcus and Easton Avenues. This is the 4700 west section. Near Cupples school at 4908 Cote Brilliante and Sherman Park on Kingshighway Blvd. Googled those areas and was disgusted to see the drastic changes. We did not move due to the so-called white flight. If anything, my parents and relatives moved to an area less desirable but closer to my Dad's employment. Until 37 years ago I have always lived within a cities borders, except for 2 years, Now in the country and for the most part love it.

I look around many times while I am driving and l survey the open spaces along the highways and these back roads. I would hate to see them full of little cracker barrel type houses. We need open spaces. Our hearts, bodies, and minds need them. Why do we think every acre must be filled with something?

I have seen many changes around here. Farmers for many reasons are no longer capable of continuing their life's work, children have no desire to continue farming, no one to leave the operation to, etc. Land sits vacant for a few years. Heirs decide to sell. Developer buys the ground, bulldozes everything including the old home site, fills the ponds, creeks, wading holes. Now we are ready for the surveyor to come in and lay the plans for the new community of 5, 10, 15, or 20 homes. People buy these. It is their part of 'country living'. Property size just big enough to have some privacy, yet not so big as to require an enormous amount of upkeep and taxes. And, around here, the buyers are mostly natives of the area!

Lately, these homes have not been the little boxes. They are well built, ranch, 1 1/2 and 2 story brick, Tudor style or wrap around porch style. Some residents work in town, but most commute to the nearest larger city for an income. They enjoy their part of the country. And again, these homes have not been the 'little boxes'. Thank Heavens for that.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:39 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,055,796 times
Reputation: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoNative34 View Post
Honestly OA, I had a lot of friends in my twenties that felt the same way..... Until they married and began raising children. A friend of mine and his wife bought there first home in St. Louis. They considered themselves as part of a movement back to the urban way of life and said how much they disliked suburbia. It was a cool Tudor style home in South Hampton not far from where my dad grew up. Most of his neighbors were childless twentysomethings.

They have 2 kids now..... And they high tailed it to St. Charles in no time.

My parents lived in the city of St. Louis when they first married. They bought their first home in the county and I'm thankful they did. My brother and I were able to grow up in a decent neighborhood AND get a decent education. "Worst of both worlds"?? Those words don't even come to mind when I look back on my days growing up.

If you had kids, would you want to send them to the St. Louis Public Schools?

Everything changes when you want to raise a family. Being trendy and hip is way down on the priority list.

And I know someone will bring up the issue of bulldozing open space, but I could also bring up the point of how urban gentrification has an extremely negative impact on affordable housing for low income residents that have resided there far longer.
Your points are very valid. However, at this point in my life I don't have children, and they aren't even on the horizon of my life. The 'burbs currently offer very little for me. Without doubt, they do offer a lot for many people...just not me. If end up both staying in St. Louis and having children, I earn enough that paying for a private school in the city is a legitimate option, along with living in a inner-ring 'burb, which might as well be part of the city, but with good schools. There are actually a fair number of families with young children in the neighborhood I currently live in (it isn't all that trendy, its pretty laid back - what I like about it), I see them playing in yards and on the sidewalk all the time.

I'm in a volunteer program where we mentor students from the St. Louis city public schools...and yes, if I ever did have children I would not want to enroll them.

Totally agree about gentrification pricing out lower-income residents. That has happened in many areas...like it or not, low-income people have to live somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarksboy
What are your ideas on attaining that goal?
Honestly, I don't have any solid, concrete ideas. I think the area would be an excellent place for companies to "outsource" manufacturing to...due to the low taxes, large number of people willing to work for relatively low wages, and being located smack-dab in the middle of the country. My home county built a nice industrial park and managed to lure in some light manufacturing (a great thing, IMO), but the companies have had to lay people off due to the recession.

You have many more years in the Ozarks than myself. What are your ideas? I must admit, I'd rather see the area stay just as it is now then become overpopulated.
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Reeds Spring, MO
974 posts, read 1,352,244 times
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I have 10 acres atm. 8 of them are forestland. I plan on buying 1-2 acres a year bordering my property as long as I can afford it. I have my will written that it is to pass down to my daughters with a stipulation that they cannot sell it.
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