Friday, March 28, 2008

Four days of sanity

I just got back from a few days in Phoenix. It's refreshing to be in a city where Wal-mart is not an eptihet and where they are serious about building roads so people can move around.

And I got back last night, scanned the week's newspapers, and was reminded again why Oregon is going to be stuck in a low growth pattern for the duration.

Just in the last four days, I see articles on:

- 1000 Friends wants to add carbon footprint goals to Oregon's land use policies, and magically, their study shows, the "Smart (idiot) Growth" policies they have pushed for years provide the very very very best model for how to meet those goals.

- The same type of folks are all worked up because if we build a bigger bridge over the Columbia for I-5, more cars will drive over it. "Sprawl and pollution will get worse, they say. Better not build it. If people can't drive, they sure won't sprawl.

- Cornelius wants to expand the size of their urban growth boundary so they can accomodate more industry. A local business, Sheldon Manufacturing, wants to expand, and will leave if they can't do it in Cornelius. Under Oregon's land use system, they have to go on bended knee to Metro and ask for permission to bring in the 161 acres, and it has so far been a four year process to get the nod.

But Metro says no!

Cornelius is a "severely distressed area" according to OECD. Tough shit, says Metro. We have our rules.

Their rules, according to David Bragdon, say that just because a local business has no room to expand doesn't qualify as "unanticipated need" in order to expand the boundary.

Councillor Rod Park, one of the dimmest bulbs I have ever met in public office, gave a quintessentially dim bulb rationale. He said Metro needs more time to study the regional supply of industrial land before deciding if there is a shortage. This guy thinks like a Soviet. Apparently having a business waiting in the wings wanting to expand isn't enough evidence of a shortage. Markets have nothing to do with it, I guess. It is bureaucrats who decide on supply and demand. Worked fine in Russia, I guess.

Phoenix is looking better all time.


Anonymous said...

To Sheldon Manufacturing,

Come on out to Columbia County, Oregon. Lower taxes, no METRO and space to expand.

Anonymous said...

I was in Phoenix two years ago. Never more than a few blocks from highway access. Highways moving at the speed limit no matter the time of day. It's amazing how the city has jumped ahead of its growth rate. Very smart folks down there.

OregonGuy said...

I have a man that works for me...he's not a business partner, but we share the load and I do my best to pay him a reasonable wage.

I asked him this morning what he'd think if I sold here and moved to northern Idaho.

I have a cousin who's on the planning commission up there. They post their minutes on-line, so I get to see what's up.

When the enviros come in, they're asked why anybody would believe in their theories. Confronted, they are unable to spout more than "because we need to make sure we're not harming ...." fill-in the blank.

I remember when county planning agencies, city agencies, made sure that codes were met. There was adequate provision for sewer, water, roads. Planning departments and road departments took a look at growth and made plans to improve or build roads. In two and a half months my youngest son graduates from high school.

And I'll be asking myself this question: "Why do I stay here?" The Oregon I knew as a child has been replaced with a proto-Soviet planning bureaucracy. It suborns common sense. It has developed a template for bureaucratic domination at the state level, and increasingly dominates county and city planning as well.

Why do I stay? Are there places left in the United States where I can escape this enviro-Lefty lunacy?

RINO WATCH said...

In the mid 80's I had the choice of relocating my business to Scottsdale or the Portland area.

I'm sure my detractors are as sorry as I am.....

Victoria Taft said...

I suppose we went to the same games and didn't see each other. Gads.
Went to Mariners/White Sox and Mariners/Royals last week.
I should have called...

Madame President said...

Rob, can you email me your personal email...I need to chat with you about something, can't seem to find your contact info anywhere...