Monday November 21, 2005

How long can we hold the line?

This struggle is as basic as the one between man and beast. In fact, it sort of is the struggle between man and beast. Every single day, 800 people move to Florida. Some of them want to live in a 1920’s house east of Biscayne. Some want to live in one of the snazzy new downtown condos. Some want to live in an appartment that’s affordable, and close to their job. But the overwhelming majority want a nice, brand new house, with a two-car garage, a big lawn, and a swimming pool. And they’re willing to commit well over a quarter million dollars to get one. That, my friends, will buy a lot of political pressure.

So maybe our friends at Hold the Line are fighting the rivers of time. The only thing they have on their side is a good argument, which goes something like this: unchecked development will run roughshod (will? ney- it has!) over the everglades, gradually destroying the natural ecosystem, all the while contributing to our unhealthy urban-sprawl city unplanning. A low-density city, they claim, is bad for the enviroment, bad for our social lives, and bad for numerous other reasons. Well, putting reasoning and studies by some of the most respected organizations in our country against well-paid lobbyists is just not a fair fight.

Why? Well, lobbyists won’t argue for urban sprawl as a desirable goal; they argue for the one particular development that they’re representing at any given point. And, taken individually, we suppose any development might sound good. Well, folks, nine developments go befor the County Commission today, asking to have the Urban Development Boundary expanded—just a little, you understand?

The Sunday Herald ran two articles about this, one a basic summary of the situation, the other an editorial by Carl Hiaasen. Carl is great – he’s not afraid to say that the developers are out for themselves, and we, the people, need to stick up for ourselves. On this, the Hold the Line folks agree – anyone who can make it to the meeting this Monday morning should get down there. Just putting in an appearance will make a difference, but by all means register to make a public comment. The meeting will be held at the County Chambers, on the second floor of 111 NW 1st Street. More information, along with instructions for e-mailing your commissioner if you can’t attend, here. Hold that line, y’all. And in the meantime, support your existing infastructure and city history by living as far east as you can.

Update: This morning, the Herald added a more official editorial aimed at the commissioners themselves:

Developers eager go outside the UDB say that it is the only place with land affordable enough to build reasonably priced homes. But the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning says there is enough land to continue building homes within the UDB until 2018. More important, adding to Miami-Dade’s sprawl will increase costs for all taxpayers. The reasons are well documented in studies and books.

Fair enough, but Hiaasen’s please are more relevant to the reader – they are about what we can do: show up at the meeting and tell our commissioners what we want.

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  1. Merkin    Tue Nov 22, 09:16 AM #  

    As usual, the toads on the commission caved and did nothing. Nothing! Ten grueling hours of horrible dull meeting and they’re in exactly the same position as when they started. No action. Decision “pending.”

    This may make you swamp squatting skeeter squeezers cream your undies, but those of us who are trying like hell to make Florida a place to live, and provide housing for people who desperately need it, while simultaneously creating good-paying jobs for thousands of people and improving the local economy—we’re pretty goddam upset by it. We hire 40 of the best most informed people we can buy, lobby the invertebrate commission for 2 years, and because a pack of dirty foul smelling gator-fucking aged hippies sits out there in the audience, the bastards get spooked, shit their pants, and adjourn.

    No wonder south Florida is the laughingstock of the state.

  2. Hugh Bris    Tue Nov 22, 12:03 PM #  

    Aaawww, poor Merkin. His golden opportunity to devastate an irreplaceable natural treasure got delayed. All that money spent on greedhead lobbyists right down the toilet, too. Go build yourself a steel cage, Hammer Head. We’ll let you out when you figure out your place.

  3. :!!x2    Tue Nov 22, 12:22 PM #  

    Merkin are you joking? do you really want to build on swampland/farmland? maybe if you stopped took the stick out of your ass and the cotton out of your ears you could sit town and lessen to resign.

  4. Otto Moe Beal    Tue Nov 22, 02:26 PM #  

    Uh, :!!x2 ? Are you there? ”...sit town and lessen to resign?” In what private language did you post your remark? And how would one pronounce your name? And why would anybody bother?

  5. Lois Terms    Tue Nov 22, 02:51 PM #  

    Nobody is fooled by these people. I’d respect them more if they simply came out and admitted that they’re just trying to make a living, instead of cloaking their motives in bullshit about affordable housing, quality of life, making jobs, improving the economy, etc. They’re here to make a buck and if it means destroying the whole goddam earth to do it, they’ll do it. As they’ve done in Miami already.

  6. The Python    Tue Nov 22, 02:54 PM #  

    Yeah, c’mon out here Merkin! Let’s get your 2-legged pink ass in the Everglades, trying to build your glorified mudhuts. See if YOU can bust out of my gut like a gator!

  7. Circuit Mouse    Sat Nov 26, 12:30 AM #  

    Forget it Jake, it’s Miami town.

  8. :!!x2    Mon Nov 28, 12:18 AM #  

    sorry for my typos. dyslexia and blog commenting don’t mix.

  9. Merkin    Fri Dec 2, 04:54 PM #  

    The people have spoken, and the proposals go forward to the state for further action. By a 7-6 vote, our representatives agreed not to cave in to the unwashed cavemen who think 1,000 acres of Dade County land is better left undeveloped, so all the swamp-squatters and skeeter scratchers can go roll in the mud and hump gators. Not to be nasty, folks, but this kind of debate always ends up the same way, so why bother? Florida—and all of America!—is here to be lived in. Just let us build what people need and want and we’ll all be better off.