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Working through National Citizen Survey for Watauga part 4

January 21, 2012

Land Use and Zoning

“Community development contributes to a feeling among residents and even visitors of the attention given to the speed of growth, the location of residences and businesses, the kind of housing that is appropriate for the community and the ease of access to commerce, green space and residences.  Even the community’s overall appearance often is attributed to the planning and enforcement functions of the local jurisdiction.  Residents will appreciate an attractive, well-planned community.  The NCS questionnaire asked residents to evaluate the quality of new development, the appearance of the City of Watauga and the speed of population growth.  Problems with the appearance of property were rated, and the quality of land use planning, zoning and code enforcement services were evaluated.”

This is just so exciting.  I couldn’t help but think of those fabulous visions held by another government of blond haired, blue-eyed people, living in the same kind of “attractive, well-planned community”.  All they needed was a little lebensraum, I mean, living space.  I believe our people sent our best and brightest to kill those “community developers” and bring freedom back to their people and free the rest of the world from their influence.  How quickly we forget.  And to think, my granddad was one who helped build the planes that bombed them back to the stone-age.  My other grandfather grew the food to keep our soldiers in the field.

I’m glad to know that property rights are to be sacrificed so that “feeling among residents… is appropriate…” At least it’s for something important.  That was sarcasm in case you weren’t able to pick up on it.  I was going to leave that out, but one of these community developers might read that and misinterpret it.

“Residents will appreciate an attractive, well-planned community.”  Attractive, well-planned?  Are you picking up on the value judgments here?  Who gets to decide those?  It used to be that those with a “limited government” viewpoint sought to limit the power of government to make these decisions and worked to ensure that the person or entity which owned the property had the freedom to utilize it as they saw fit.  I prefer that vision over the modern, dictatorial version where seven “enlightened” individuals, having been anointed by “votes” are allowed to manifest their dreams for the populace.  I was disappointed that at the last council meeting there was vocal assent to the notion that City Council had arrogated to themselves the right to make those decisions in the interests of their constituents.  What about those of us that might object?  What if that “feeling” isn’t sufficient inducement for me to surrender my property rights?

The figure in this section that caused me the most grief (and that’s saying something), was figure 21: Nuisance Problems Benchmarks.  This is the people who thought that “run down buildings, weed lots and junk vehicles seen as a “major” problem.  11%  Really?

I’d like to find every one of them that said they were a major problem and educate them.  No, I don’t mean the communist type of “re-education”, but actual education about property rights.  How, if you don’t own the property, you don’t get to dictate how it looks.  I’d like to explain to them the concepts of “unfunded mandates” and let them know that if they want to maintain the lot, or building or vehicle as they see fit, then they should put up the money to do so.  If they aren’t willing to do so then they should shut their mouths and exercise their property rights and move, but they don’t get to impose their vision on the rest of the city and make me pay for it.

I wrote once about how whiners and complainers are the fuel that drives government power grabs.  City Council is supposed to stand guard for the community against these kinds of jerks who want to use everyone else’s money to fund their vision for the community, but I regret to say that Watauga’s City Councils don’t look like they’ve had the intestinal fortitude to do so.  It’s disgusting.  Sickening.

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