ASAP says their research at this point is still insufficient to identify a specific optimal population for the community. However, faced with a limited supply of natural resources, Marshall said housing is the key piece of community infrastructure that needs to be limited to reduce demand.
I’m sure that Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson, Louisa and the other surrounding counties would love to have Charlottesville/Albemarle place caps on housing starts. Prices would likely go up artificially in Charlottesville and Albemarle and our neighbors would benefit. But … CharlAlbemarle would then have traffic coming into the urban ring without the benefit of property taxes (which don’t cover the cost of housing).
– How does one define “optimum population” and what are the consequences for exceeding said optimum population?
– Maybe we could also institute congestion pricing as they have in London (really not a bad idea) instead of a moat.
– Would we restrict services to residents if they weren’t in the urban ring and didn’t pay a fire or rescue fee?
This is so much bigger than a blog post. This is the sort of issue that is much like the boiling frog metaphor. If we don’t pay attention now, we just might find ourselves boiled later.
Update 19 October 2010: Neil Williamson at the Free Enterprise Forum opines on the fallacy of Marshall’s argument for construction causality.
Funny, I hadn’t focused on the “us versus them” quote. I’m one of them, too, and I’m glad I’m here. Now, my wife is a native of Charlottesville, and I bet she’d ask Mr. Marshall where he’s from.