Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Respect? Or "Renew"?

I've tried to be quiet and polite whilst my neighborhood goes down and a new, larger, vastly more expensive one goes up. Now, however, my new neighbors (and some of my old ones) have decided to go ahead and make THEIR opinions known by putting these pretty green signs in their yards that belie their real purpose....the purpose is to encourage City Council to not form an infill task force. Why not? Oh, because our city already has so many task forces!! I encourage you to visit the website of the organization in question to see for yourself, even at the risk of losing you from my side. Why? Because I'm FAIR THAT WAY. (Be forewarned: should you ask for more information, you will be listed as a supporter - by name.)

I cannot hardly state my position as well as my buddy Andrea , who did so very powerfully (and with her raw humor, too) where she writes. I agree with her, but have more fear than she does, as she lives in a historically-protected neighborhood. A neighborhood with a bunch of silly rules, but hey! Andrea's gorgeous three-bedroom, 2.5 bath will never be overshadowed by a 8,000 s.f., four-story, gazillion-dollar monster. Maybe rules are good in some instances? Maybe discussion is warranted?

People have a right - a "fundamental right" as outlined at the linked website above, to do what they want with their homes, and even what the market demands. I, however, do think that in light of the historic drought that our state is experiencing, and the unprecedented growth of our county, the least we can do is have our elected officials examine what is CLEARLY a trend.

If you agree, feel free to sign the Respect4Raleigh petition. If you don't, feel free to join the other organization. Either way, know that since those lovely green and yellow signs have started sprouting up, I'm not going to be quiet anymore.


Jimmy Rogers said...

I certainly appreciate your opinion, particularly given where you live.

To me it is a property rights and growth issue - nothing more. The libertarian in me screams that the City Council should not be restricting what I can do with my property - I should be able maximize it to its highest and best use within current zoning and planning restrictions. It further reeks of Mayor Meeker's anti-growth agenda. Raleigh is a great place to live, and a good bit of what makes it great is the diversity that growth brings. We cannot take a "I'm here, and you're not welcome" stance to growth. Sure, you can say that all the petition does is establish a task force, but where does a task force and moratorium lead? Let's not pretend, and just go ahead and try and institute the new rules if the task force is the way to go.

All that being said, has been pretty shady in their message and their "grassroots" origins.

If you really want to control growth, stop issuing residential building permits until we can resolve the drought issues. That'll teach 'em.

Belle said...

I see your point and obviously Community SCALE wants more than just a task force. I don't agree with all they are pushing. But - you bring up diversity: what would you say to those who say that the growth in neighborhoods like mine is squelching diversity? Let's face it: rich people live in these huge houses. Sometimes it's Persian people, sometimes Indian people, maybe even Hispanic people, but its always rich people.

I also agree that "grassroots" is not exactly how one would explain a builder-funded, PR-machine-led campaign.

Jimmy Rogers said...

And here's where we really part ways I suspect. With wealth comes the diversity, even if the people representing the wealth are a bunch of stodgy, uptight, white, church going folks living in the McMansions. They bring jobs and the need for services, restaurants and shopping, which brings the diversity.

Having grown up here, I can remember when the Angus Barn was your fine dining choice. That's it. Now I can get a taco from a truck for a dollar or pay $35 for a taco entree and chase it with a $50 shot of Tequila (Jibarra in North Raleigh if you're interested). While I'm more likely to get it out of the back of a truck, I like having the options that growth brings. Just last night, I saw The Drowsy Chaperone downtown, which was playing on Broadway just several months ago. Growth made that possible.

Can you tell you hit a hot button with me on this? Wonder Rant powers deactivate...

P.S. You still love me don't you???

Belle said...

I still love you - will you be my Valentine? But first of all, I didn't say it was I who thought that the McMansions fostered a lack of diversity (though in my neighborhood that is true beyond a doubt). Secondly, it's FINE with me to build these huge houses! However, in a drought I really feel as though the impact should be examined. I also know that you do not blame me for wondering if the rampage of tear-downs is not a bit much, considering that on the same lot, next to 1500 s.f. ranches, what is built after the tear-down is sometimes 4x the size of the original house. In my heart, I just don't think that is neighborly.

Lynn said...

Hey, Jimmy: Who you calling "stodgy". It's an inside joke. xoxox