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January 14, 2010


I just hope you and your kind don't unintentionally visit tyranny on us in the name of our grandchildren.

Concerned Libertarian, do you think requiring handicapped parking spaces in front of a business is "tyranny"? What about building codes, such as health and safety requirements? (these would have saved countless lives from the earthquake in Haiti)

Should anyone be able to construct whatever they want, wherever they want? Would you be happy to have a concrete plant that spews mercury into the air next to an elementary school?

One person's "tyranny" is another's social compact. This is a fact: no man (and no woman, no animal, no plant, no anything) is an island. Everything on Earth exists in relationship with everything else. We are social creatures. What one person does affects others.

I am my brother's and sister's keeper. And they are mine. So I disagree that wise land use planning is tyranny. Not only do I disagree a little, I disagree a lot.

I also believe in land use planning but recognize that there has to be increased development as more people live in a place. Compact is good to a point but it can only go so far. The contradiction comes because people have to have food and populations also grow larger (unless bad things happen). If you block all development around a city to protect the agricultural land, then where do the people go? If you let it develop outward from the cities, then eventually it reaches you.

In Oregon's past (and many states still today) they hopscotched outward which led to sprawling developments any which direction. With planning that doesn't happen here, but we still have to deal with the need for people to live and food to be produced. You won't find that you can always get people handy to where they can easily get all their necessities nearby. Wise use planning has to be done by a combination of the community and experts.

Wanting to see something stay as it's always been won't happen anywhere in life, why expect it in our neighborhood views? And we always want to protect 'our' views. When I visit Tucson, I bemoan the changes every time I arrive because my home is on the edge of town-- or used to be. I will say they are developing the stores to provide their necessities (which, of course, are trucked in) out there also, which I also bemoan but understand why it happens.

A lot of people pushed into a small area leads to more social contact problems as well as pollution. Letting them spread out helter skelter leaves no land left to grow food (not that most is grown loacally); so it's always a compromise. I hate to see areas I have loved developed into suburbs, but unless we stop growing in numbers, more of that does have to happen. The issue is doing it wisely. The end result often will please no one. Land use planning is still important for us all and I am grateful for Oregon's bill but it will never satisfy the need to see things stay as they have been.

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