What I am listening to tonight: Managing Growth: A perspective from Loudoun County Supervisor Jim Burton.
Will our community become even more ridden by sprawl and property tax increases? That’s what happened in Loudoun County, according to Jim Burton of the county’s Board of Supervisors.
Courtesy of Cvillepodcast.
I have never heard Jim Burton speak before, so I will take what he has to say at face value until proven otherwise. A lot of what he says sounds like it could be applied to the CharlAlbemarle/Central Virginia region and projected five to fifteen years down the line.
Fire and rescue, schools – basic government services – sound, from what he has to say, to be at the point of being overwhelmed. The goal, one would think (and hope) is to learn from Loudoun’s mistakes before what makes this region special is no more.
Loudoun and Albemarle have very different demographics. One questioner stated that 70% of Albemarle’s citizens do not have children to which Mr. Burton responded – “that is the opposite of Loudoun.” A quick search at census.gov shows that 24.8% of Albemarle’s population is under 18 while 29.8% of Loudoun’s population is under the age of 18. These numbers are from 2000; an awful lot has changed in 5 years.
Wise planning and implementation may be able to prepare adequately for the growth that is coming. The missing piece is trust. Trust that the elected “representatives” in government, developers, NIMBYs, even YIMBYs will act with integrity is nonexistent. When a politician has the audacity to say this:
At the end of a recent budget work session, Caravati informed his fellow councilors that because he isn’t seeking a third term in May, he’ll be able to take politically unpopular positions.
“What I’m saying is, don’t be bellyaching about ‘we’ve got all this new money and we want to cut rates to reduce the amount of money,’ and then not talk about services,” he said. “We all do it, and I’m saying I don’t have to worry about it this year, so I’m going to raise hell about it.”
How in the world is one supposed to trust him? If his fellow politicians had any integrity, they would publicly question what he has been doing the rest of the time he has “served.” Those who do not should find themselves publicly shamed and guilty by association.
“Smart growth” “Slow growth” “no growth” – The term “smart growth” has been bastardized and politicized to the point that it is a counter-productive term. It polarizes many to the point of causing either side to stop listening to the other. Smart growth could be just that – smart growth, without the political firestorm that accompanies the term. Plopping 6,000 homes without adding to the affected infrastructure is, frankly, pretty stupid. That trend may be changing, however.
I have confidence (perhaps a bit of false confidence, but that’s my right) that our region will right itself and plan appropriately. The people are beginning to be heard; now they have to follow through. You may be asking yourself – “why is this on a real estate blog?” Answer: real estate is largely about quality of life. It is in everybody’s best interest to maintain a high quality of life – it’s just good business.
Thank you to Cvillepodcast for providing this service. I don’t know how many people attended the meeting this afternoon, but I am grateful for being able to listen at my own leisure.