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Thread: Annoying unincorporated places

  1. #26
    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    I don't know about you, but I think the only places that should be unincorporated are farmland, forest, and natural areas. It's getting particularly annoying...all these exurban neighborhoods popping up all over the countryside on our suburban fringe. What's more popular and more worrisome these days are the McMansinons on 2 acre+ plots of land. In the past, it used to be more condensed 50s style ranch homes and trailer-park trash areas. But now it's upper-middle class people living on multiple acres of land, and causing land to be eaten up much too quickly.
    But shouldn't the county be managing growth in unincorporated places? As Cirrus mentioned, most of Maryland's suburbs are unincorporated, and they do a good job of curtailing sprawl and focusing growth at the county level. On the other hand, Pennsylvania's suburbs, entirely incorporated, are development nightmares because every little 2-square mile podunk township wants their own Toll Brothers tract houses and Target Greatlands shopping center.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian plankton's avatar
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    My first city planning job involved working for a city of about 4000 people. The City's UGB included another 5000 people in an urban unincorporated area that was under the county's planning jurisdiction. It had seperate water and sewer districts even though the water and sewer plants were located in the city. Planning in the unincorporated area was awful. The pissing matches between the city council and the unincorporated area's w & s district boards were monumental. The county wanted little or nothing to do with the whole area and its politics and vice versa. When the sheriff had to be dispatched to the unincorporated area, our city cops just lounged around in the cop shop knowing that they could be on scene 15 minutes or more earlier......

    A "nice" subdivision was built there in the mid-1990's. Too bad there was only one way in and out (for nearly 70 homes) so when massive flooding (and landslides) happened there in 1996, many people were literally trapped in their 16-foot wide graveled "cul-de-sacs" with no way out; no loss of life, thankfully, but very sad (annoying) indeed. Many homes were knocked off of their foundations and since flood insurance does not cover losses due to "mud", many people lost their biggest (and usually only) investment.

    To this day, the unincorporated area still has not consented to be annexed to the neighboring city. Apparently, they don't want to lose their identity. Did I mention that the urban unincorporated area is known as 'tri cities'?!? Named after the three municipalities that it abuts. Some identity to hold onto....

  3. #28
    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    Did I mention that the urban unincorporated area is known as 'tri cities'?!? Named after the three municipalities that it abuts. Some identity to hold onto....
    Is this the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland area?

    Bill

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  4. #29
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ICT/316
    Is this the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland area?

    Bill
    What city in the Tricities area has 4000 people? West Richland?? Last time I saw any figures, Kennewick, Pasco and Richland were similar in size (give or take 10 or 20 thousand people) and totalled over 100,000 residents between the three.

    If it is the Tricities, I wonder if the subdivision is the one we always passed on the way to taking my husband to work (behind the mall, down that road that belonged partly to Kennewick and partly to Richland, with the new very rich looking elementary school -- um, not ON that road, but you had to go down that road and turn off it and we drove through this new subdivision that was being built). Of course, everyone knows I SUCK at "GTC" type games. I am just kind of curious, cuz I lived there in 1996... I think (counts on fingers and toes) -- Yes! We moved there in 1995 and left in 1998.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    But shouldn't the county be managing growth in unincorporated places? As Cirrus mentioned, most of Maryland's suburbs are unincorporated, and they do a good job of curtailing sprawl and focusing growth at the county level. On the other hand, Pennsylvania's suburbs, entirely incorporated, are development nightmares because every little 2-square mile podunk township wants their own Toll Brothers tract houses and Target Greatlands shopping center.
    IMO, counties should be doing other stuff besides managing growth. Let them worry about the fairgrounds, farmland, conservation areas, senior services, transportation, voter registration, animal control, the sherrif's department, the courthouse, the health department, and all those other things. The last thing the county should be worrying about is managing growth and preventing people from building 2 acre McMansinons all over the place. Let the municipalities annex the land that developers want to build on. I couldn't imagine living in a mass unincorporated area like Maryland or Miami-Dade County where you live in a county, not a town.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #31
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner
    The last thing the county should be worrying about is managing growth and preventing people from building 2 acre McMansinons all over the place. Let the municipalities annex the land that developers want to build on. I couldn't imagine living in a mass unincorporated area like Maryland or Miami-Dade County where you live in a county, not a town.
    Actually, I believe the opposite. The counties should be focused on growth control. Kane County put forward a great plan that laid out future growth and development plans for the county. The W 1/3 of the county is/was to be highly protected from development and preserved as Ag land. The middle 1/3 would have it's role defined from Ag to Suburban as development encroached. The E 1/3 was to capture and contain 2/3 or more of the development in the county.

    Allowing cities to rampantly annex and develop does little to control growth when local officials have visions of $$$$$ in their eyes.

    A convicted county growth control plan would make my job easier and ensure sustainable regional development.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    Actually, I believe the opposite. The counties should be focused on growth control. Kane County put forward a great plan that laid out future growth and development plans for the county. The W 1/3 of the county is/was to be highly protected from development and preserved as Ag land. The middle 1/3 would have it's role defined from Ag to Suburban as development encroached. The E 1/3 was to capture and contain 2/3 or more of the development in the county.

    Allowing cities to rampantly annex and develop does little to control growth when local officials have visions of $$$$$ in their eyes.

    A convicted county growth control plan would make my job easier and ensure sustainable regional development.
    I do believe in regional growth and having a larger body oversee municipal growth, but I don't think the county should be allowing unincorporated growth. Look how they let people build McMansions and farmettes at the rapid pace they did in Campton, Plato, and Nunda Townships in Kane and McHenry Counties. Just think...entire township-sized pieces of land wasted because of lack of proper planning. The county can't plan at the local level, only the regional level. And that's why the counties needed to work with the municipalities along time ago so that the municipality and the county could pressure those developers to build smaller lots on incorporated land.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  8. #33
    Member steveanne's avatar
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    [QUOTE=drucee]
    I really dislike the unincorporated areas in Lake and Cook counties. Their strange sort of rural development in developed areas is unhealthy and aesthetically displeasing. Deerfield, Des Plaines, Oak Lawn, I'm looking at you... would an annexation be possible?
    QUOTE]


    Des Plaines just had a public meeting discussing the possibility of annexing near-by land. Nothing was really firmly said, but it's a start...

  9. #34
         
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    I'd say Clark County, WA would have tough competition from unincorporated Multnomah County. After the "east county" fought for decades to stay off of the sewer system, the local representative in the Oregon legislature actually introduced a resolution (and faxed it to the EPA) asking the federal government to increase its fines against the City of Portland for water pollution. Meanwhile, Portland is spending $1.4 billion to update its sewer system. I'm not sure how many unincorporated areas would have the audacity to turn the feds loose on their neighbors, but political hardball doesn't seem to be Portland's forte.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Nobody has mentioned their favorite "CDP" ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #36
    Cyburbian plankton's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chrisg
    I'd say Clark County, WA would have tough competition from unincorporated Multnomah County. After the "east county" fought for decades to stay off of the sewer system, the local representative in the Oregon legislature actually introduced a resolution (and faxed it to the EPA) asking the federal government to increase its fines against the City of Portland for water pollution. Meanwhile, Portland is spending $1.4 billion to update its sewer system. I'm not sure how many unincorporated areas would have the audacity to turn the feds loose on their neighbors, but political hardball doesn't seem to be Portland's forte.
    Yea, east multnomah county is quite a place. To answer posts from six months ago about tri cities, no it's definitely not Pasco, Kennewick, or Richland.........

    What's a CDP?

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by plankton
    What's a CDP?
    Census Designated Place
    JOE ILIFF
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  13. #38
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I've said it before, and I'll say it again....

    Yet another reason I love NH....no unincorporated places (other than a few spots in the White Mountains where the only residents are moose, bear, deer, and other animals) = no annexation issues = no headaches for us planners working here.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  14. #39
    Cyburbian
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    Wow- you guys have it different than in the intermountain west... vast areas of unincorporation, with the clear majority of new home growth coming in those unincorporated areas. Because our county/valley is growing so fast, our small cities are starting to aggressively annex, but that doesn't mean that farmers and ranchers aren't retiring and seeing huge dollar signs in development, and that doesn't mean that the vast majority of people who move to montana (and the west in general) haven't completely bought into the myth that the west is all about wide open spaces where a person can do whatever the hell they want... Our biggest opposition to decent planning (unincorporated, incorporated, whatever) is the marketing and real estate industry- and that's a shame, because when real estate professional and/or developers talk in support of good planning, it resonates with the politicians more than anything else.

  15. #40
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    For clarification on my no-unincorporated places post....

    click the image for a bigger image....the best way to clearly show all the towns and cities.

    Last edited by NHPlanner; 26 Jan 2006 at 1:25 PM.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  16. #41
    Cyburbian
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    NH planner-

    okay, so what does all that mean?

    What does it mean to be a "county" in NH?

    are the smaller boundaries townships? what does that mean?

    what does it mean to be in a city if everything is incorporated?

    Who's got jurisdiction over what? what's the hierarchy?

  17. #42
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Texas municipalities are very aggressive when it comes to annexation. Most places don't stay unincorporated for very long.... someone will swallow them up.
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  18. #43
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    NH planner-

    okay, so what does all that mean?

    What does it mean to be a "county" in NH?

    are the smaller boundaries townships? what does that mean?

    what does it mean to be in a city if everything is incorporated?

    Who's got jurisdiction over what? what's the hierarchy?
    There are 9 counties in NH....that have little real power. They have superior courts, sherriff's department, and run the county jails. Little else.

    Everything else is either a city or a town, operating either unter Town Meeting/Board of Selectman, Town Council, or City Council forms of government. No townships. The unincorporated places, as I mentioned above are all in the rural northern part of the state, primarily in the White Mountain National Forest.

    A few links about NH Government:

    State Government

    County & Local Government

    Wikipedia NH Government Structure
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 27 Jan 2006 at 11:02 AM.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  19. #44
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Texas municipalities are very aggressive when it comes to annexation. Most places don't stay unincorporated for very long.... someone will swallow them up.
    Except for my personal favorite: The Woodlands

    Last I checked, this unincorporated place had something like 50,000 people and was listed by the census as the largest unincorporated place. It's property owner's association functions like a city government.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  20. #45
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    There are 9 counties in NH....that have little real power. They have superior courts, sherriff's department, and run the county jails. Little else.

    Everything else is either a city or a town, operating either unter Town Meeting/Board of Selectman, Town Council, or City Council forms of government. No townships. The unincorporated places, as I mentioned above are all in the rural northern part of the state, primarily in the White Mountain National Forest.

    A few links about NH Government:

    State Government

    County & Local Government
    Thanks.

    A slightly off-topic question:

    what's with all the "regional planning commission" jobs that I see for NH? Do they cover multiple towns that don't have the resources to have their own personal planning? Or places that need to be regionally linked? Seems like there are always a lot being advertised on APA...

  21. #46
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    Thanks.

    A slightly off-topic question:

    what's with all the "regional planning commission" jobs that I see for NH? Do they cover multiple towns that don't have the resources to have their own personal planning? Or places that need to be regionally linked? Seems like there are always a lot being advertised on APA...
    Regional Planning Commissions primarily serve those towns with no professional staff of their own, by providing circuit rider planners on a rotating basis, and providing a variety of other planning services. The also serve as MPO's for transportation planning purposes.

    More info here: http://www.nharpc.org/

    Some are better than others....some always seem to be looking for staff, as their salaries aren't as competative for lower levels as most local governments that have planning staff.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again....

    Yet another reason I love NH....no unincorporated places (other than a few spots in the White Mountains where the only residents are moose, bear, deer, and other animals) = no annexation issues = no headaches for us planners working here.
    Hmm, same thing in NY, yet...

    No unincorporated places = cities, towns, and villages of varying sizes, each with their own municipal public works departments, infrastructure, highway maintenance equipment, etc., etc. = tremendous inefficiencies = high property taxes = people leaving the state in droves = no money to hire planners ...


  23. #48
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Hmm, same thing in NY, yet...

    No unincorporated places = cities, towns, and villages of varying sizes, each with their own municipal public works departments, infrastructure, highway maintenance equipment, etc., etc. = tremendous inefficiencies = high property taxes = people leaving the state in droves = no money to hire planners ...

    And no way for those built out, underbound cities to grow their tax and economic bases, no matter how much they wanted to.

    Mike

  24. #49
    Cyburbian
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    Okay, so I can't seem to wrap my head around these places with no unincorporated areas. Or with places that rarely allow unincorporated growth. How the heck does this work? Are these places so built out, and the communities so close together, that there just isn't that much land available? What do you do when the retiring farmer comes in and asks to subdivide his land? Make him connect to city services? Are these closely available?

    Not to sound ignorant, but I'm a planner in Montana. We have vast, empty spaces. And its only been fairly recently that 1) people have wanted, in mass, to live in those huge spaces without being involved in some type of resource extraction industry (farming, mining, ranching, whatever) and 2) that county commissioners (at least our county commissioners) have said "no, i'm sorry you're retiring Mr. farmer, but we can't service you and you can't develop that land".

    So how does it work in crowded places back east? Do people get their subdivisions denied? Or are they made to wait, or to hook up to infrastructure... what's the deal?

  25. #50
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    Okay, so I can't seem to wrap my head around these places with no unincorporated areas. Or with places that rarely allow unincorporated growth. How the heck does this work? Are these places so built out, and the communities so close together, that there just isn't that much land available? What do you do when the retiring farmer comes in and asks to subdivide his land? Make him connect to city services? Are these closely available?

    Not to sound ignorant, but I'm a planner in Montana. We have vast, empty spaces. And its only been fairly recently that 1) people have wanted, in mass, to live in those huge spaces without being involved in some type of resource extraction industry (farming, mining, ranching, whatever) and 2) that county commissioners (at least our county commissioners) have said "no, i'm sorry you're retiring Mr. farmer, but we can't service you and you can't develop that land".

    So how does it work in crowded places back east? Do people get their subdivisions denied? Or are they made to wait, or to hook up to infrastructure... what's the deal?
    There's lots of undeveloped areas within cities and towns in NH....though it is diminishing quickly in southern NH.

    There are provisions in NH law that prevent "premature & scattered" development, but it isn't used much. The vast majority of subdivisions get approved, and in most cases they have individual private well and septic systems since public water and sewer service is not available in most areas (in my community, about 73% of the homes in town have private wells and septic systems). We do not have our own municipal water system (we're served by Pennichuck Water Co and the City of Manchester Water Works), we do have municipal sewer in parts of town, but our treatment is handled by the City of Manchester or the Town of Derry Sewage Treatment facilities. We use intermunicipal agreements for both.

    It's a different animal in NH, and New England in general, than it is in other parts of the country....no doubt about that.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

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