NIMBY

Charlotte balks at doing away with single-family zoning

You'd be surprised at how many people have torches & pitchforks in their garage:

Charlotte City Council members on Monday hit the brakes on the city’s ambitious 2040 Comprehensive Plan over its call to eliminate single-family-only zoning.

The city has been holding public meetings about the plan for months. But as the deadline approaches to approve it, some council members are hearing concerns from residents who are worried about the changes.

Of course they're hearing concerns from residents, because anything you try to do will result in concerns from residents. Hell, I tried to change the route of our fledgling public transportation system so it would run through a densely-populated middle-class area (because people had complained there weren't any convenient stops), but I was told, '"We don't want those types of people coming through here." That being said, both sides of this issue have valid concerns:

Racism and segregation are alive and well in Suburbia

Not in my back yard, build it somewhere else:

“We built our brand-new home here because we worked hard to become residents of New Berlin — not because we got a handout, not because somebody paved the way for us,” one woman said.

One man described seeing an increase in crime when a “lower-income element” moved into his former Milwaukee neighborhood. “You put this low-income housing into this part of the city,” he said, and “I guarantee you this is what you’re inviting into our community.” At least one resident wrote a letter teasing at fears that her city would turn into the North Side of Milwaukee, which is predominantly Black.

I don't care what state you're living in, or if you're urban, suburban, exurban, or even (especially?) rural. Nothing brings out the NIMBY more than new development. I've been on our Town's Planning Board for about six years now. The first three years were non-eventful, we went about 5 months one time with no meetings. But the last three years have been nothing short of brutal. We've had citizens yell at us, glare at us, question our integrity, and throughout there has been a near-constant undercurrent of racism. It is often couched in "property value" arguments, but it is there, nonetheless. And none of our proposed developments received (or even asked for) government subsidies or other enticements:

Notes from a failed Municipal campaign

I'm still licking my wounds after a second failed attempt to win a seat on our Town's Board of Aldermen, so it might have been wiser to wait until some of the bitterness fades to talk about it. But if I were one of those "wise course" people, I probably would have won. And therein lies the crux of the problem: Honesty and a genuine desire to inform the voting public might sound like a winning approach, but the average voter uses reductive reasoning in choosing candidates. They're often not looking for reasons "why" to vote for you. they're looking for reasons "why not" to choose your name on the ballot. Follow me below the fold, if you can stomach it:

The battles over Durham-Orange Light Rail project continue

And the naysayers are getting creative:

To kill the project, opponents know they can’t appear to be anti-transit. Instead, they must convince you there are better, cheaper options. In their latest campaign, opponents revive their old claim that bus rapid transit (BRT), which uses buses on dedicated roadways instead of trains on light rail tracks, is inherently better and dramatically cheaper. But, they say, stubborn train lovers at GoTriangle refuse to examine a bus alternative.

Dedicated roadways for buses makes about as much sense as personal "pods" that individuals can hop into like their own little taxicabs. The traffic issues in driving a car from downtown Durham to downtown Chapel Hill and back have become horrendous, and further development *is* going to happen, whether people want it to or not. Between the two hospitals (Duke, UNC) alone, there are some 17,000 employees. That's not counting other University staff from the schools themselves. Light rail may not solve all the transportation/parking problems, but it is a critical element of the solution. Here's more from Orange Politics' Molly de Marco:

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