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Old 08-13-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: It's in the name!
7,087 posts, read 9,667,824 times
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This is a conversation started in the MGM thread. I moved it here as to not hijack the MGM thread. The topic is concerning the balance between the explosive growth in the DC region and communities that are losing the character that current residences love and invested in years ago. Smart Growth can't always prevent old neighborhoods from changing. Sometimes for the worst.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:09 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,125 posts, read 14,085,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
This is a conversation started in the MGM thread. I moved it here as to not hijack the MGM thread. The topic is concerning the balance between the explosive growth in the DC region and communities that are losing the character that current residences love and invested in years ago. Smart Growth can't always prevent old neighborhoods from changing. Sometimes for the worst.
The problem is it should only be done when it make sense and it enhances the neighborhood. I think it's ridiculous that people outside of an area of where the Cafritz development is or where the National Harbor development is, can tell people what is best for them. Can you imagine someone living in a place like Accokeek, telling you why Adelphi should get a new shopping mall and a Walmart built (of course this is just being hypothetical)? Bottom line, no one knows these neighborhoods better than the people that live in them. Of course you will always have the naysayers who will complain regardless, but very few people want to see their neighborhood drastically change. In the case of Cafritz, is it realistic to put a mixed use development on an already congested roadway? Does it make sense for the surrounding community? Who is negatively impacted the most? If people who live there are concerned about traffic, which you admitted is a legitimate concern, is it unreasonable for them to oppose such a change to their neighborhood?
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: It's in the name!
7,087 posts, read 9,667,824 times
Reputation: 3780
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
The problem is it should only be done when it make sense and it enhances the neighborhood. I think it's ridiculous that people outside of an area of where the Cafritz development is or where the National Harbor development is, can tell people what is best for them. Can you imagine someone living in a place like Accokeek, telling you why Adelphi should get a new shopping mall and a Walmart built (of course this is just being hypothetical)? Bottom line, no one knows these neighborhoods better than the people that live in them. Of course you will always have the naysayers who will complain regardless, but very few people want to see their neighborhood drastically change. In the case of Cafritz, is it realistic to put a mixed use development on an already congested roadway? Does it make sense for the surrounding community? Who is negatively impacted the most? If people who live there are concerned about traffic, which you admitted is a legitimate concern, is it unreasonable for them to oppose such a change to their neighborhood?
It is not unreasonable at all. But looking forward, there is the danger of having just as much traffic in the neighborhood along Rt. 1 from all of the other developments going on in Hyattsville while University Park is left staring at an empty wooded lot. So, they get all the traffic problems they fought so hard to avoid with people walking along Rt. 1 past and through their neighborhood to get to the other developments in the area while those near Cafritz have to get in their cars and head into traffic to go to what they could have had in their own neighborhood. I mean we all know that PG is lacking in a lot of areas. I just don't think now is the time to be fighting the very thing we're asking for. Yeah, the location sucks for some, but its great for others. I can understand if the entire neighborhood was against the development, but there have been just as many voices for it. So, how do you reconcile that? Who should have the right to what they want? And if there is a stalemate, shouldn't government do what is in the greater good for the community as a whole?

I get the fact that the area was zoned for single family homes. And that was great 20 years ago. But now things have changed. There are more people looking for rentals near metro stops than mortgages right now. The market inside the beltway between metro stations might not be able to support 150 single family homes. THere are good arguments for and against. But sometimes I feel the people who are against a development get more "support" and empathy than those who may want the development to move forward. I mean are developers looked upon negatively like lawyers?

And here's a question. Those who appose an approved development have the right to sue. What about the other way around? Has anyone sued because a development was denied other than the developer?
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:03 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
46,072 posts, read 61,619,444 times
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One of the tools developers have used is call a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit. Most are thrown out pre-trial but the defendant expends money and time getting to that point. Which is the point, the developer makes legal opposition so expensive people just shut up. It is an infringement on 1st Amendment rights if commenting on planning and zoning issues is considered political discourse.

WIKI definition but it is pretty good:

Strategic lawsuit against public participation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


FAP - Anti-SLAPP
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,125 posts, read 14,085,854 times
Reputation: 3222
Quote:
Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
It is not unreasonable at all. But looking forward, there is the danger of having just as much traffic in the neighborhood along Rt. 1 from all of the other developments going on in Hyattsville while University Park is left staring at an empty wooded lot. So, they get all the traffic problems they fought so hard to avoid with people walking along Rt. 1 past and through their neighborhood to get to the other developments in the area while those near Cafritz have to get in their cars and head into traffic to go to what they could have had in their own neighborhood. I mean we all know that PG is lacking in a lot of areas. I just don't think now is the time to be fighting the very thing we're asking for. Yeah, the location sucks for some, but its great for others. I can understand if the entire neighborhood was against the development, but there have been just as many voices for it. So, how do you reconcile that? Who should have the right to what they want? And if there is a stalemate, shouldn't government do what is in the greater good for the community as a whole?

I get the fact that the area was zoned for single family homes. And that was great 20 years ago. But now things have changed. There are more people looking for rentals near metro stops than mortgages right now. The market inside the beltway between metro stations might not be able to support 150 single family homes. THere are good arguments for and against. But sometimes I feel the people who are against a development get more "support" and empathy than those who may want the development to move forward. I mean are developers looked upon negatively like lawyers?

And here's a question. Those who appose an approved development have the right to sue. What about the other way around? Has anyone sued because a development was denied other than the developer?
I think it's difficult to say how much those voices should matter, because some of those people in support of the development may/may not be directly impacted by it. I think the best solution for this issue is to start to plan out communities more in advance, so situations like this don't happen. These communities should have visions of what they will be 20-30 years down the road, so that you don't have haphazard development that doesn't make sense in the long term scheme of things. Look at Tysons Corner for example. They have a vision to turn that area to an urban outfit, which is why they do not have parking garages at the new stations. Why can't we as a county do that kind of planning? I like the fact that they have vision for Oxon Hill to make it more urban, but I believe it would help for the rest of the county to. Think about it like this, the people who are against these projects would not be able to complain because the ground work would have already been set and they would have the ultimate choice to be a part of the future of that particular place or not, rather than trying to dictate what will or will not work, because we will probably never get a conclusive answer to that. And keep in mind I'm talking about more than just designating an plot of land for something. I mean we should define, is Riverdale Park a residential community or a community that will have a mix of residential development with some commercial development.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:30 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
46,072 posts, read 61,619,444 times
Reputation: 61976
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
I think it's difficult to say how much those voices should matter, because some of those people in support of the development may/may not be directly impacted by it. I think the best solution for this issue is to start to plan out communities more in advance, so situations like this don't happen. These communities should have visions of what they will be 20-30 years down the road, so that you don't have haphazard development that doesn't make sense in the long term scheme of things. Look at Tysons Corner for example. They have a vision to turn that area to an urban outfit, which is why they do not have parking garages at the new stations. Why can't we as a county do that kind of planning? I like the fact that they have vision for Oxon Hill to make it more urban, but I believe it would help for the rest of the county to. Think about it like this, the people who are against these projects would not be able to complain because the ground work would have already been set and they would have the ultimate choice to be a part of the future of that particular place or not, rather than trying to dictate what will or will not work, because we will probably never get a conclusive answer to that. And keep in mind I'm talking about more than just designating an plot of land for something. I mean we should define, is Riverdale Park a residential community or a community that will have a mix of residential development with some commercial development.


Most communities do have visions for 20 years out. The issue is that circumstances do change. Comprehensive plans have to redone every 7 years and even in that short of time things change.

You bring up a point about people who won't be impacted by a development weigh in. Usually they do have a financial interest but they won't have to deal with the day to day downsides like traffic.

As a note, plans I was involved in 25 years ago are just now starting to be implemented.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:30 PM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,585,485 times
Reputation: 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Most communities do have visions for 20 years out. The issue is that circumstances do change. Comprehensive plans have to redone every 7 years and even in that short of time things change.

You bring up a point about people who won't be impacted by a development weigh in. Usually they do have a financial interest but they won't have to deal with the day to day downsides like traffic.

As a note, plans I was involved in 25 years ago are just now starting to be implemented.
Very valid point.
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