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Old 03-08-2007, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
9 posts, read 16,639 times
Reputation: 16
Default Is combating urban sprawl so bad?

I truly enjoy read the many different perspectives written into these threads. Although, they have left me wondering a bit!

Folks refer to the lack of industry as a problem that should be addressed. I understand that a lack of industry can make life much more expensive. Industry is lucrative for communities. It provides us with jobs and tax revenue. I'm sure these things would be helpful for VT. Unfortunately, it comes at a high price tag on the environment and the community in general. The life style folks know and love would probably disappear!

The fight against urban sprawl is also a target of much negative discussion. From my experience, it's very important to combat urban sprawl. The town I grew up in was once a quiet beautiful snow bond community. In the past 20 years (without industry)the population has tripped. Along with that growth has come more traffic, more roads, more trash, more crime, and many more houses. Of course, all this change resulted in fewer farms, fewer rolling hills without houses and an over all huge change in life style. It's very sad! If you love where you live, controlling the growth seems like a good idea to me. Combating Urban sprawl does raise the costs of housing. I get that. But isn't it worth it?

Finally, many of the postings have mentioned the environmentalists in VT as having contributed to their negative experience. This is a mystery to me. VT is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Shouldn't we go to extremes to preserve it? I think that preservation is something to be proud of. Although, I know it may be inconvenient. Once again, it seems worth the effort to me.

Where are all the people who love VT?
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 3,230,595 times
Reputation: 519
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG67 View Post
I truly enjoy read the many different perspectives written into these threads. Although, they have left me wondering a bit!

Folks refer to the lack of industry as a problem that should be addressed. I understand that a lack of industry can make life much more expensive. Industry is lucrative for communities. It provides us with jobs and tax revenue. I'm sure these things would be helpful for VT. Unfortunately, it comes at a high price tag on the environment and the community in general. The life style folks know and love would probably disappear!

The fight against urban sprawl is also a target of much negative discussion. From my experience, it's very important to combat urban sprawl. The town I grew up in was once a quiet beautiful snow bond community. In the past 20 years (without industry)the population has tripped. Along with that growth has come more traffic, more roads, more trash, more crime, and many more houses. Of course, all this change resulted in fewer farms, fewer rolling hills without houses and an over all huge change in life style. It's very sad! If you love where you live, controlling the growth seems like a good idea to me. Combating Urban sprawl does raise the costs of housing. I get that. But isn't it worth it?

Finally, many of the postings have mentioned the environmentalists in VT as having contributed to their negative experience. This is a mystery to me. VT is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Shouldn't we go to extremes to preserve it? I think that preservation is something to be proud of. Although, I know it may be inconvenient. Once again, it seems worth the effort to me.

Where are all the people who love VT?
We are legion, Mike
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
198 posts, read 575,080 times
Reputation: 49
Mike,
You seem like you would fit in very well here. However, remember that everything is capable of being done to the extreme. There is a great balance that could take place, and still preserve what is precious to so many and what is wanted by many others. If balance is what you crave, Vermont is not the place. But if you enjoy the picturesque, stereotypical Vermont...it is here but it will cost you!
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:41 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 3,202,241 times
Reputation: 369
I have lived in and visited many places in the US where excessive sprawl has forever changed the landscape. I certainly don't want to see such uncontrolled growth here in Vt, but Vt goes to the extreme to stifle economic progress to better the lives of folks here. This is why many leave and what makes life here a financial challenge. For those interested a new housing and affordability report is out for Vt and you can read it by going to housingawareness.org. Google the Ethan Allen Institute for a further report on demographic and economic information concerning Vt which I beleive was titled Off the Rails. The governor will be attending affordability forums around the state, but the results of town meetings don't bode well for fiscal restraint as the majority budgets, many with increases far exceeding inflation, were passed. Many legislators are now basking in the aftermath of the impeach Bush rhetoric and feel they have been given a virtual blank check to keep spending. Of course if you make over 100K a year many of these costs and taxes have little impact, but the majority of the population here does not fall into that class.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:58 PM
 
Location: NE Georgia
2,779 posts, read 6,749,125 times
Reputation: 1390
Mike,

I notice you live in Atlanta?
If so, like me you know the effects of urban sprawl first hand.

Trust me my Vermont friends, stand up to the sprawl.
I would question on just how much home costs increase.
Here in Atlanta we have BS. Beyond sprawl.

Our roads are like parking lots. Our taxes go up to support the leverage on the schools, home developers are so runamuk you cannot sell your home if you want to, and crime? Holy holdup Batman! Sometime you wonder if Atlanta makes Baghdad seem like Mayberry.

Vermont is one of the most, let me change that, Vermont is the most beautiful state in the 48. I call it the Alaska of the 48. No ugly billboards, the Green Mountains aka Ver Mont. Friendly folks, etc., I just can't get my wife away from the heat. Crap! you know how much Vermont syrup costs in Georgia Outside of that it's Mrs. Butterworths
OK I'm yammering
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
198 posts, read 575,080 times
Reputation: 49
Your "Vermont Friends" are not all natives that are blinded to the area outside of this state. I moved here 7 years ago from West Palm Beach, Florida and grew up in the Midwest. Florida is a perfect example of too much too fast, but there is a happy medium. People that visit here and have not lived here really don't understand the frustration of having to drive 30 miles to the nearest Walmart. I am not saying this to offend, but to shine a little light on the reality of day to day life in this state.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:19 PM
 
Location: NE Georgia
2,779 posts, read 6,749,125 times
Reputation: 1390
Quote:
Originally Posted by pucabear View Post
Your "Vermont Friends" are not all natives that are blinded to the area outside of this state. I moved here 7 years ago from West Palm Beach, Florida and grew up in the Midwest. Florida is a perfect example of too much too fast, but there is a happy medium. People that visit here and have not lived here really don't understand the frustration of having to drive 30 miles to the nearest Walmart. I am not saying this to offend, but to shine a little light on the reality of day to day life in this state.
None taken, but I would take the 30 miles.
Heck, I have 7 WalMarts within 10 miles from my house. No matter how I count it its a 35-40 minute drive just to get to any one of them.

As for me, I grew up in West Virginia, lived all over from NJ to Chicago, to Atlanta, plus military before. Yes, there is a happy medium but like our political hacks in DC, developers seem to be one extreme or the other anymore.
West Palm is a good example, was down there last month and could not believe the way they are tearing up Rivera Beach. Tearing down old Mom and Pop seafood joints and building condo's at 1M+ a pop behind gates while the homeless are sleeping against the concrete walls outside.

Where are you in VT?
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
198 posts, read 575,080 times
Reputation: 49
I am in Saint Albans. We moved here for my husband's job, and are in the process of waiting for another transfer out.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Location: NE Georgia
2,779 posts, read 6,749,125 times
Reputation: 1390
Quote:
Originally Posted by pucabear View Post
I am in Saint Albans. We moved here for my husband's job, and are in the process of waiting for another transfer out.
Oh, you are in the hinterland. Or a hop skip and jump to the Candianland.

Don't get transfered to Florida. We are being invaded by Floridians here in GA.
They are running due to crime, property taxes, and homeowners insurance.
Many are finding after they land in GA that the property taxes are not that much cheaper, insurance is only about 20% less, and crime is equal and in some places worse.
The only difference is Georgia tags you for 6% income tax and car tax.

Good Luck
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,423 posts, read 25,516,941 times
Reputation: 13848
MikeG67, you raise some basic questions that can be surprisingly difficult to answer fully or with authority.

In my experience, extremes are rarely good for anything except education on why they should be avoided. You also talk about lifestyles that are loved, as if they have the possibility of going on forever. They don't.

I ended up having to leave Vermont after being born there and spending most of my life there. The causes were the extreme cold, the limited light in the winter, and most importantly, the lack of employment possibilities. I am not the only one to ever experience these shortcomings, and a trip to the Bailey-Fletcher Library, or the Vermont Historical Society in Barre will provide you with historical data on migrations from the beautiful state of Vermont, some of which largely de-populated the state. Those extremes are what have driven generations of Vermonters from the state. Do you want to preserve that? If so, why?

You talk about "protection." What exactly is "protection?" In a simple sense, it is preserving a status quo against all attempts of change, whether those changes are positive or negative. Used in that way, it is a PC word meaning enforced stagnation.

Mankind is messy. Progress is messy. Life itself is messy. Until population control is universally achieved and there is a realization that 99% of all pollution could be minimized by the simple expedient of recognizing the concept of sustainability, there will be messes.

You also make a common error in thinking on a small scale. There are burgeoning populations all over the world that would love nothing better than to overrun the United States, the mythical land of plenty. Vermont is nothing more than a tiny dot on a map in such a scenario. That takeover will eventually happen unless a more global view is taken by everyone in the country, including the people of Vermont. That means that some industry is needed in the state to support it and its residents.

You talk of "industry" as if it was synonymous with steel mills. Industry is only a part of commercial development. The restaurants, and motels, and stores, and theatres, and entertainment complexes, and bed and breakfasts that currently exist are all part of industries. They replace the dairy farms, and logging, and craftspeople, and foundries, and shipyards, and tanneries, and stores, and mineral springs that were the earlier "industries" that supported the area. Those earlier industries are effectively dead. You cannot revive them.

The concept of limited residences without any support structure within the immediate area is an exercise in hubris, an elitism that denies the roots of the money that supports it. Yes, there are areas of the country that still live in backwaters and poverty. They have the elegance of recognition that their poverty is genuine. Vermont has been "discovered" and no longer has that moral excuse.

There are areas of the country that are as of yet undeveloped. The few residents there live with the acceptance that they are out of the mainstream and living on borrowed time in a world of the "noble savage" of literature. Vermont is no longer such a place.

Vermont is supported largely by a recreation and tourist industry, even though it is placed near major population centers and areas of heavy industry. Preservation means preserving those industries, not a preservation of the virgin land.

Environmental extremism places the value of the environment as greater than the value of human quality of life. The environment, as it exists in Vermont, is not the environment of the virgin land. To use the cliche, "time stops for no man." Bugs, weeds, exotic species all now are part of that ecosystem. Yes, they were often brought by man, but there is no turning back, no reverting of the land to a pristine pre-columbian state, no matter how hard the eco-nuts desire it.

The extremes of environmentalism demand the impossible, and demand that the people accept those extremes as required for life to continue. Rubbish. Recycling bottles and cans is one level, refusal of allowing land use based on theoretical run-off damage to the environment from parking lots is a totally different level of "environmental protection."

It is easy for the environmental extremists to get face time in the media and expouse their views, without any critical examination. Example:

The Times-Argus recently ran a series on the Winooski watershed, where the author of the series took the word of an environmentalist that allowing pets to poo-p within the flood stage environs of the river was a cause of pollution that had to be stopped. No mention was made that bears s--- in the woods, and have for centuries, that birds and fish and all sorts of natural creatures "pollute" the environment. Pets doing their business in the bushes were suddenly made out to be evil, ready for the next stage of requiring the poo to be picked up, and then the next stage of banning pets, etc.

Trust me, there are eco-nuts out there that would love nothing better than to totally clog up the gears of all kinds of commerce and industry, and gleefully scr-w over private citizens in the effort, and turn mankind to an existance of regular visits to communal compost heaps in Fred Flintstone cars.

I don't deny in the slightest that previous generations have had industrialists that would have had no problems killing all life forms, except for low-paid workers, in their quest for money. Again, extremes are rarely positive.

"Preserving" the unsustainable is an exercise in insanity. Vermont has been the recipient of such insanity for a number of years.
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