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ursulav

Mourning

So you've heard me talk about my nice little town a couple of times, I imagine.

There's a downtown--basically two streets with a traffic circle--a couple of restaurants, the co-op, the coffee shop I write at, and up the road a mile or two, where the interstate is, a big-box hardware store. It's NICE. We're the county seat, so there's a couple government buildings, but we're a super rural county so they're not big.

I live in the woods, surrounded by pastures. The farmer I buy my meat from is about ten miles down the road. My neighbor keeps bees and has a falcon mews in the backyard. (Also trucks on blocks, because the South.) I sit in the backyard at night and there are whippoorwills and chuck-widows-wills calling.

I've lived here for six years, and barring occasional desires to head to the desert, I had sorta planned to die here, preferably while lying in the backyard listening to aforementioned whippoorwills.

Council just voted to nuke it from development orbit.

They just cleared the last hurdle to break ground on a planned development to house *60,000* people. This is one of those massive "planned city" developments.

A development of 5000, I could have maybe gritted my teeth, but they are literally dropping an entire CITY seven miles from my house.

Cities do not stay where you put them. Our population is slated to increase by 1900%. If I wanted to live in a gigantic suburban sprawl, I have lots and lots to choose from already, but yay, now it's coming to me.

To say we don't have any infrastructure to handle that is laughably understating the case. It's just...insane. I mean, the primary road into the area is a four lane highway over a lake, and the road into town is two lanes with a traffic circle and a stoplight. And the developers are being super "It's fiiiiiine, don't worry your pretty little head about things like water quality, those rules only apply to people on wells, we're building sewers next to the lake and the Haw River and that means we can cram LOTS OF PEOPLE IN and you should just relaaaaax. We're professionals."

(Nevermind HOW the county is somehow supposed to dredge up the money for all the infrastructure that this place wants...)

And they own all the land, so we can't buy it away. Rezoning stalled them for over a year, but people sang "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" and this was the last ditch and it just ended last night. They break ground in sixty days, and start building houses in eighteen months.

It's supposed to take thirty years, to hit full capacity, but I am so discouraged. I feel like I'm in mourning for the town. The only bright spot is that our property values are supposed to go up, which is sort of like 'Your horse is going to die, but good news! Dogmeat's selling at an all time high!'

Unnngngggghhh.

Shit. I'm so sorry :(

Oh, wow! That is terrible! I don't even know what to say. It boggles the mind.

Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear that. :(

I hear that.

In my case, it was a suburb where they were already keeping 80,000 people in 16 square miles, and they dropped another 3000+ within three blocks of my house. Apartments. And they're intending to add another 3000+ next year with a new round of apartments in the played-out quarry.

We moved. {: We're not nearly as rural as you folks, but it is nice to have more elbow room.

Same story here, up in piedmont Virginia. When we bought the house in a small suburb, there were cows in two places down either road into the area. When we sold, it was all strip malls, asphalt, and a ginormous traffic snarl around a huge "outdoor" mall that once, when we first got there, was a sleepy little crossroads town like yours. We moved - hopefully far enough out of that mess that it won't be built up too in my lifetime. The commute's a lot longer, but I can live with that so long as I can breathe and see the fireflies and listen to the wildlife rustling in night-dark underbrush.

:( That really sucks. :(

My hermit heart hurts for you.


Yikes. Y'all planning on moving?

I wonder how that is supposed to work. There may be jobs building the houses, but where is the long term stable income for the 60,000 needed to occupy the houses?

These developments strike me as economic vaporware. With jobs evaporating, incomes going down, credit cratering and gas prices going up, fewer and fewer people can afford to live in sprawl. Meanwhile, we actually need as much open land as possible to deal with changes in population and climate.

There's a reason rural and urban patterns are the longstanding ways humans arrange themselves, because that's how sustainable human activity works. Suburbs are an investment and marketing construct designed to deliver customers and shift cash, not actually be places to live.

where is the long term stable income for the 60,000 needed to occupy the houses?

That, to me, is the big question. Is this meant to be a bedroom community for some other city? A retirement city? Is there a big industry planning to set up shop? Or did someone buy a pile of hooey about "building a regional hub"?

I am so sorry.
I guess the part that is puzzling me has to do with the 60,000 people in question.
Just were are these people coming from?
This just makes no sense.
I grew up in Winston-Salem so I kinda know the area. Where is all the money (to buy houses) going to come from?

This, yes. Where is the demand for housing coming from, and where will all of these people work and shop and play and go to school and ...? Are they at least planning for that, and not just building isolated housing?

Ouch. My condolences. I grew up in a town of ~1,000 and have settled in one closer to 60,000, so I've got a good frame of reference for what kind of change that is. I'm appalled that anyone would even consider something like that. It's just... Wow... I think going into mourning is very appropriate, unfortunately.

(Deleted comment)
Off topic, but... that is a truly awesome icon!

Oh no :( I'm so sorry to hear that.

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