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Old 08-24-2008, 11:21 PM
 
638 posts, read 1,781,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmm72 View Post
Taxes are the reason that this area is dying. When I applied for my business license in Kanawha County, I got my early Business property assessment before I got my business license. I was like, well, duh, at this point I don't have business assets, because I don't officially have a business yet.

And think about the "User fee." That drives up business costs, because in order to get workers inside of Charleston you have to pay them more to cover the "User fee" and parking. That's why you don't see a lot of new development in Charleston proper, just at the very fringes (think Southridge.)

In order to attract businesses, these local governments cut tax deals with big companies. I have an idea, if it works for the big businesses, why not the small ones?
All good points.

New here, but I have read local media coverage on corporations that were planning development here, then pulled out. Reason : costs became prohibitive. In all fairness, County/City also made good points refuting the blame that it's their fault . . basically addressing some issues and saying, are we supposed to eat these costs as a community?

In other areas . . take Orlando for example (Orange County Florida), the simple answer is "yes". The magic wand is waived, developers get perks, while property taxes fund the hangover of present and future costs that were never calculated and factored into a community expense, while adding a gazillion illegal aliens to do "the jobs Americans don't want".

My property taxes in Charleston are $250, in Orlando they would be $2500. So everybody in Charleston that wants their property taxes to go up 1000% raise their hand.

Is there a happy medium? Sure. But squeezing the citizens of Charleston (Kanawha County) for corporate development isn't the only viable solution. Just because that's the way it's done everywhere else, doesn't mean it works.

Best wishes.

Last edited by r601020; 08-24-2008 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,105 posts, read 7,089,076 times
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I think Chas is pretty around the mall, on Kanawha Blvd, and other places.

Driving on the interstate over the middle of town it does look ugly. In my journeys, driving on interstates through towns I always think how ugly the town looks - so it's not just Charleston.

Hmm, let's think about this. How many towns have the interstate in the middle of them and how many have interstates which loop around the town.

The houses you see sitting near the interstate in Chas (in town) aren't the most impressive. Hmm, would you build a nice home near the interstate? At the houses across the river and on the hillsides you can really hear the traffic - I figure you can REALLY hear it if you sit beside the interstate.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:36 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,191 posts, read 32,433,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vec101 View Post
Hmm, let's think about this. How many towns have the interstate in the middle of them and how many have interstates which loop around the town.

The houses you see sitting near the interstate in Chas (in town) aren't the most impressive. Hmm, would you build a nice home near the interstate? At the houses across the river and on the hillsides you can really hear the traffic - I figure you can REALLY hear it if you sit beside the interstate.
Valid.

Atlanta, like Charleston, has three interstates passing through. While we do have an incredibly bad problem with bums in parts of downtown, traffic, and smog - Atlanta is still known as the "City of trees". There are more trees intown in the neighborhoods and parts of the inner city area than just about any city in North America.

As you say though, driving THROUGH Atlanta on the "Connector" area (where I-75 and I-85 pass through the city), you'd never know it. It is pretty ugly looking. Most concrete and buildings in view (and lots of cars), but not a ton of trees or park space within sight. Once you exit and start driving through the city areas on the surface streets, you see a lot more greenery in a lot of areas.

Here's a 4 minute YouTube video I did driving through this area (broadband required). Before you think, "Oh, traffic in Atlanta isn't that bad!", keep in mind, this was taken on Christmas Eve. But it does give an idea of how much more sparse the city looks just when driving past/through it:


YouTube - Driving through Atlanta's "Connector".

I was, by the way, a passenger. NOT driving and videotaping at the same time.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
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Watched your video - yep, would think there are some nice looking bldg but wouldn't think the town is pretty.

"I was, by the way, a passenger. NOT driving and videotaping at the same time." - very glad of that.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,144 posts, read 40,269,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vec101 View Post
I think Chas is pretty around the mall, on Kanawha Blvd, and other places.

Driving on the interstate over the middle of town it does look ugly. In my journeys, driving on interstates through towns I always think how ugly the town looks - so it's not just Charleston.

Hmm, let's think about this. How many towns have the interstate in the middle of them and how many have interstates which loop around the town.

The houses you see sitting near the interstate in Chas (in town) aren't the most impressive. Hmm, would you build a nice home near the interstate? At the houses across the river and on the hillsides you can really hear the traffic - I figure you can REALLY hear it if you sit beside the interstate.
I remember Charleston prior to I-64 even existing. My maternal grandmother lived at 30 W Kanawha Blvd one block west of the Elk River (she passed away in 1968)........that duplex is now gone courtesy of the above freeway.

The people in Charleston were pissed about 1-64 being put through parallel with Pannsylvania Ave. I was only about 8 years old at the time but I vividly remember the sadness and resentment. Some 'progress'
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:39 PM
 
11,944 posts, read 14,132,225 times
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Arizona that's the trade off for progress unfortunately, but it really was progress. Quite ingenious the way the interstate is 2 minutes away from everyone, yet not a nuisance to trip over with poor traffic schemes because its raised on platforms above street level. Didn't lose parking in city limits, merges and ramps are sensible, both local and thru traffic move steadily (3 or 4 lanes wide), and convenience for all is definitely happening. The only time I've seen heavy congestion was snow during evening commute because the plows were setting the pace. I can get from one side of the city to the other in 5 minutes by using interstate to avoid the lights at street level.

I'm leery of eminent domain flexing muscles but sometimes it's a necessary evil for public works that affect the majority, including all points outside of charleston for mass transport as well. That particular section of I64 connector was crucial and minimally disrupted the majority of west charleston's neighborhood while keeping them conveniently connected just like everyone else. Had they forced it down MacCorkle ave a good deal more of waterfront property neighborhoods and commerce would have been lost to utility. Sorry about your granny's house, but IMO it was sacrificed for a good cause. I hope they fairly compensated her even if the sentimental value was priceless.
More details if you've got the patience to read it...

Downtown charleston it's parking garage or lots on the outer fringes, no on the street parking. That means 500 people aren't blocking traffic trying to get out of a space, squeeze themselves in one, or driving 15 blocks in circles looking. Streets are always clean, traffic is either coming or going smoothly without excess congestion and idling car fumes overcoming pedestrians. The river walk is frequented by dog walkers, cyclists and joggers whenever I drive by there. It's one of the few cities I've been to where it's pedestrian friendly. Most motorists don't have to be in the street for inclement weather because they go from parking garage to the building they need to be in, as is the case with the chase bldg, town square mall, and the fed (?) court. The streets give a deceptive appearance of being an immaculate ghost town sometimes, but there really is activity going on because the buildings & parking garages are bustling. Side bonus is good security schemes throughout. Have a beef with paying $1 hr to the parking garage (it's $25 an hr in midtown nyc) you can always take a bus. There were dozens of schedules for most directions in the lobby of kanawha library, although I can't say I've had need to use them yet. One day I think I'll just tour the city by bus to see what I can't when I'm too busy minding the road.

Overall I think whomever the city planners were that engineered this scheme deserve a huge round of applause for an incredibly intelligent design. They did their homework to avoid most problems other cities were already locked into by virtue of having been established when the width of a horse carriage was the benchmark to determine how wide streets should be. Think Boston, DC and NYC- cars and utilities were an afterthought and city planners were hobbled around historic sites vs modernity. Those compromises are now the notorious kink in the road for accidents. I see a serious sore spot in charleston west by the k-mart/ patrick street bridge area that needs a sensible traffic scheme but I've yet to knock on the mayor's door.

The interstates in Charleston are ready and able to support growth, and currently serve as a hub for the spokes going outward to the rest of the state. Rte 119 sees some congestion because it's got lights instead of merge ramps from their malls and side neighborhoods. The volumes going through there justify upgrading it with modernized merge patterns. Elsewhere, like rte 160 southern Colorado, they deliberately slow people down like this trolling for commerce. South Charleston has it going on and shouldn't need that false benefit. In Colorado it only winds up frustrating people for 100 + miles with multiple speed trap opportunities Louisiana style. Must have been a dozen towns calling that main street with tractor trailer traffic bumper to bumper. Thank goodness South Charleston isn't like that, but room for improvement exists if they want to keep their growing trend.
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,144 posts, read 40,269,558 times
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I can see your points: harborlady............

After living here in the Phx area with its very wide surface streets (try 3 lanes in each direction and 40-45 MPH speed limits) on 1 mile co-ordinates, it is hard envisioning places anymore with their teeny streets anymore--------although, Tucson comes close.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:32 PM
 
14 posts, read 47,334 times
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I do not have "street cred" as I have posted so little, though I have lurked a lot. FWIW, I live in "Northern Virginia", the euphemism for anyplace in VA which is commutable to the government and contractor jobs around DC. DC is close to the murder capital of the United States. Any morning, look in the Washington Post - a minimum of one shooting. During full moons and when it's too hot to stay inside, there are three or more.

The smart money (if you believe any of the analysts here have smarts) says the next war will be fought over water in this generation.

BTW - I am feverishly paying off debt and saving so that I too can come to West Virginia. I, too, want to be close to the spigot and surrounded by people with common sense who are not too politically correct to be armed to the teeth.

Hope to see you all, shake your hands, and invite you over for a piece of pie. I am a
good baker.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:57 PM
 
11,944 posts, read 14,132,225 times
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:::suspiciously eyes radcliffi::: What kinda pie are we talkin'?


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Old 09-03-2008, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Charleston, WV
3,105 posts, read 7,089,076 times
Reputation: 843
Rad, Hope to see you in WV soon.
By-the-by, at our cabin in Canaan we have well water (really good tasting water) AND there is a place along the road near Davis where you can bring a plastic jug and get spring water for free.
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