The gist of this fine editorial seems to be, “Oh, Come on!.”Â Regarding massive, “green” houses:These houses aren’t just ridiculous; they’re monuments to sanctimony.Â If architecture is frozen music, these places are congealed piety, demonstrating with embarrassing concreteness the glaring hypocrisy of upper-class environmentalism.Â The sad thing is that, by pouring so much money into ostentatious eco-design, the people who built homes like this have purchased status at the cost of doing some real environmental good.Bear in mind that merely building a gigantic house consumes an enormous amount of energy and other resources, which is why it costs so much to do so.Â Situating a home all by itself on a large piece of land, far from the pre-existing community infrastructure, does not make it a model of environmentally conscious design.Â And having a second home–which takes nearly a day of driving to reach–is unlikely to make a dent in global warming.Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a large house, lots of privacy or a vacation home, but how can we pretend that these places exemplify some standard of eco-design that others should aspire to?Â Well said.
CvilleTomorow has an excellent post on the Albemarle BoS’ review of the Development process.Â New Supervisor David Slutzky seems to deliver the kind of thoughtful, articulate analysis he showed in the campaign.Â I will listen to the podcast tomorrow.Â I’ve said it before; CvilleTomorrow is providing an excellent service to the community.Â Their information sharing is outstanding.
The City of Charlottesville is reaching – reaching for new powers to take property from private individuals for the express reasoning of redistributing that property to others.Â Four especially troubling paragraphs (bolding mine): (a) To acquire land or buildings in the city for the purpose of providing housing for low ormoderate income persons or for elderly or handicapped persons; to acquire any dwellings or dwelling units in the city for the purpose of providing housing to low or moderate income persons, and to dispose of such dwellings or dwelling units, by sale or lease, to low or moderate income persons or to a nonprofit organization or limited profit organization which has as its principal purpose the provision or development of housing for low or moderate income persons;In addition to being able to exercise the above-mentioned powers with city funds, the city isauthorized to participate in any state or federal program related thereto and to use state, federalor private funds in the exercise of such powers. The exercise of any of the powers granted in this section is hereby declared to be a publicpurpose and public useFirst: Government has no business stealing others’ property so that they may repurpose said property.Â If they want a “dwelling or dwelling unit” they should make an offer and pay for it, same as the rest of us. What is particularly troubling is that this does not even touch the concept of blight, one of the more traditional reasons for stealing an individual’s property.Â The definition of “public purpose” seems to be quite broad here.Â What’s next?This was from Cvilleindymedia; their site has been down for several days, the complete letter is below.Â PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT FOR CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA (November 21, 2005)Sec.Â 50.7.
In his first policy address to the General Assembly, the new governor will urge passage of a law that gives local governments the right to halt housing construction if roads are not adequate.Â Kaine also will acknowledge the need for more money to build wider highways, buy more buses and trains and erect bridges.Â But he will not suggest an increase in gas or sales taxes or offer specific legislation that details how he thinks the state should raise the new funds …”I am proposing initiatives that better link land use and transportation decisions so that uncoordinated development doesn’t overwhelm our roads and infrastructure,” Kaine says …One would require developers to submit a standardized traffic impact statement whenever they request a rezoning.Â That would give the Virginia Department of Transportation and localities the ability to monitor the cumulative impact of development across the state.A second proposal would strengthen the state’s office of intermodalism, which is responsible for ensuring that people and goods can make connections between ports, airports, roads and rail lines.Â The office would get more resources and more accountability, the adviser said.Kaine also will promise to convene a bipartisan commission to set measurable goals for spending on transportation “so that we invest in the most critical projects first, ensure that the traveling public gets the most for their money, and holds elected leadership — you and I — accountable for the performance of our transportation network.”More bureaucracy, more hoops and no clear roadmap (pun intended) of how to pay for these goals.Â The ends may be worthy and commendable, but the methods do not seem to promote efficiency and efficacy.Â It will be interesting to see how these initiatives impact our region.Â The full article is here as well.
What a scary number.Â I have been blogging for a year now; I started 4 January of 2005.Â I have written a lot, but have learned a lot more, both from those commenting and from my own research and need to be an expert on my subject matter.Â Here’s to continued growth and another one thousand posts.
I am going to be gone next week, Tuesday through Thursday, attending the VAR Leadership Academy.Â This is a year-long program that is comprised of four retreats and is designed to – you guessed it – shape and develop better leaders.Â Our first assignment has been to read The Timeless Leader, a fascinating conglomeration of leaders throughout history and the corporate correlations.
Hmmm.We are hearing from economic developers and employers reporting that they have more jobs than people.Â The availability of affordable housing to attract manufacturing workers is starting to become an issue.Â The housing that is being built is too expensive for the market, but these communities can not attract developers to build what is needed.Whereâ€™s the problem?Â The demand for home builders far exceeds the supply….Â Contractors can not recruit and hire enough skilled tradespeople to do the carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and other construction work that is involved in building houses.Â Because of building needs in the storm-damaged gulf region and in burgeoning China, construction materials are in short supply.Â Source.Eminent Domain’s threat to small business.Gas prices to rise in 2006?Â Thanks to an unlikely source – environmentalists.