Friday, August 19, 2005

Just ahead: more planning nightmares!!!

Maggie says:
Take a look at the first paragraph of this Journal article from today and see if something (okay, two things) make you cringe:

"New City in Works Near Rio Rancho"
A Phoenix-area developer wants to build a community of more than 70,000 people about 10 miles west of Rio Rancho in Sandoval County.
Cringe #1: "Phoenix-area developer." You know, since Phoenix (pictured above) is such a nice place to live and all, without sprawl or water issues or infrastructure problems and with so much local character, local economic development, and sustainable development... Perfect! A Phoenix-area developer sounds like just the thing for the Albuquerque area!

Cringe #2: "more than 70,000 people." 70,000 people! Someone fill me in with exact numbers here, but with the thousands upon thousands of people expected with Mesa del Sol and now the Zacate development, plus this one, we're talking huge change to this area, one that is already over-burdened with rapid growth and improper planning and infrastructure development. And by the way, where in the world is the water for all these people going to come from?

Call me a crazy anti-capitalist, but will a time ever come when people will stop looking for ways to make moneymoneymoneymoneymoney through ill-conceived new developments and just focus on what we have? Because there is lots of work already here that needs to be done - there are neighborhoods needing investment, places that should be more livable than they are, and how about some local jobs for all those West-siders who are surrounded only by homes just like theirs and big box stores with chain restaurants attached? The Westside and Rio Rancho are just a nightmare. And so we have a few developers who can still profit from developing more nightmares and regional leadership that's beholden to them, but we are all losing.

So get ready, locals: hang on to your homes and favorite spots in downtown, Nob Hill, the South Valley, the North Valley, and the East Mountains. Every place around you is going to start looking more and more like Phoenix. And when everyone realizes what's been lost, guess whose neighborhoods they're going to come after because of their character and uniqueness? That's right: yours.