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Thread: Reflections on the South / Appalachia

  1. #1

    Reflections on the South / Appalachia

    Or, as an alternate title, "Penguins Aren't Native to North Carolina?!"

    Yes, I'm a city-born, city-raised Penguin. And yes, I'm now in the mountains of North Carolina. It is, to say the least, culture shock.

    I found myself bored, so I ventured out tonight, with the WalMart Supercenter across the state line in Georgia as my ultimate destination. What I found, though, really makes me think...

    I'm struck by the dichotomy of the region. I passed a college preparatory boarding school, situated on rolling hillsides. Large brick buildings with classical architecture and ornate white columns dotted a green, perfectly manicured landscape. Yet, just down the street, I passed dilapidated wood shops with little paper "Sorry, We're Closed" signs hanging haphazardly in the front door. From the looks of things, the shops hadn't seen customers in well over a year.

    There were pole barns and sheds housing landscaping firms and plumbing supply companies. There were antiques malls and pottery shops peddling their wares to knick-knack-oriented tourists. And occasionally, appearing like a desert mirage out of the darkness, were brief meccas of brilliant high pressure sodium streetlights, towering signs advertising the Circle K and the Chinese buffet and the assortment of dive motels. There was a streetlight, perhaps two, and then, as quickly as the town appeared, it was gone again and my headlights continued into the pitch of night.

    I rolled on down the highway, four lanes, barely speckled with cars. It was nowhere near capacity, and it probably never will be. Caught up in the moment, trying to absorb the sights that bombarded and bewildered my city-raised eyes, I missed my turn. Fortunately, I was able to make a U-turn at a convenient intersection under construction. At least, I assume it was under construction, and that the various concrete structures around it were simply not poured yet, because metal street signs sprouted straight from the blacktop... and that just ain't right.

    The WalMart Supercenter itself was... well... an experience. I don't know if I feel comfortable talking about it. It was... traumatic. So much impervious surface... so much square footage... I feel ashamed.

    When I walked out of the store, however, I was confronted by one of the most beautiful skies. I regret not taking my camera with me everywhere I go. I believe I shall start. The setting sun dipped behind the mountains and made the clouds along their tops glow brilliant yellow. The sunset faded into a darkening blue sky, with stringy black clouds passing slowly overhead. To my back, the moon shone with a brilliance I had never seen in the city.

    I will admit, it's a humbling, bewilderdering experience. The lack of planning, the lack of development, the lack of... well, any real concept of organization, it seems... The absolute beauty of nature, rolling hillsides dotted with cows, mountains backlit by a winter sunset, and the harsh glow of sodium lights and neon signs. It's all so incongruous, and I found myself more than once wishing all the darn Waffle House signs would just quit clouding up the sky. But then, I think that down here, that Waffle House means jobs, and food, and a social gathering place to many people, and who am I to tell people to get rid of their lifestyle so that I may appreciate things from my own viewpoint and with my own set of values?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Oh please. Here we go with THE SOUTH. Like you don't have Wal Mart and crappy planning everywhere.

    We just got back from No CA which you would really think would be nice. And most of it was. Like, RJ's hometown doesn't even have a Target or KMart, much less a Wal Mart. But Marin County, which I always thought would be wealthy and dignified/a.k.a. rich, rich, rich, was a complete s*ithole on the highway, just like anywhere else. Chain stores, discount stores, crappy little apartments shoved up against the highway.

    Everyone has perceptions. But most places are now looking all the same. The only difference at Wal-Mart anymore, is the accents of the people shopping there. Unfortunately, in the south, they're usually Yankees.

    What does Wal Mart mean everywhere else? No jobs? No gathering place? Maybe where planners sneak in under cover of darkness to save some money? Don't pin it on the south for crying out loud. You got your poor white trash all over this country.

  3. #3
    I'm not "pinning it on the South," I'm merely making an observation about the geographic location in which I am currently located. If I were in the midwest, the Pacific Northwest, New England, or anywhere else, I'd call it as I see it there, too.

    Yes, WalMart is putting the local stores out of business everywhere. But the WalMart in the city back home isn't situated against the backdrop of cow pastures, nor does it loom ominously over rundown buildings.

    Yes, the US Highway system does tend to collect some of the, shall we say, more industrial and commercial elements, and getting even a few blocks off of the main drag can result in rather noticeable changes. But I didn't get off the main drag. My impressions, like those of thousands of other passers-through, are formed by the buildings which line either side of the particular roadway upon which I am motoring.

    I'm not out with any particular agenda. I'm a geographer. I call's 'em as I see's 'em. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not all a personal attack against you.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    I will admit, it's a humbling, bewilderdering experience. The lack of planning, the lack of development, the lack of... well, any real concept of organization, it seems... The absolute beauty of nature, rolling hillsides dotted with cows, mountains backlit by a winter sunset, and the harsh glow of sodium lights and neon signs. It's all so incongruous, and I found myself more than once wishing all the darn Waffle House signs would just quit clouding up the sky. But then, I think that down here, that Waffle House means jobs, and food, and a social gathering place to many people, and who am I to tell people to get rid of their lifestyle so that I may appreciate things from my own viewpoint and with my own set of values?
    My own reflections, fwiw:

    I had a project in school as a kid that involved making a few maps. I think I had to make several, something like 2 versions of a city map and 2 of a country map. I really don't remember the details. My dad is old enough to be my grandfather. He is a year younger than my ex's grandmother -- my ex and I are 17 days apart in age. My dad grew up on a farm during The Great Depression. I have heard it said it was a share-cropping farm. He helped me with the country maps. We made at least one of an imaginary farm and I made some comment -- I don't remember what -- similar to your thought about how "country stuff isn't planned and isn't organized" (i.e. I had no clue where to begin because I was totally unfamiliar with such an environment). He rebutted that as he helped me start making my farm map and he talked about how a farm is planned around things like what makes sense geographically for a particular crop and for crop rotations and so on. It is not recognizable to a city-dwellers eyes as "organized" because the organizational principles are alien to their experiences and world view.

    My ex was career military. He was in the infantry and spent a lot of time in the field. When we traveled, he got lost in cities because "all the buildings look the same". That drove me crazy when I was saying "We have driven past this building three times. We are going in circles!" But he didn't get lost in the wilderness, where every tree, rock and so forth were recognizably different to him. I, on the other hand, can be hopeless in such environments because "all the plants and rocks look the same!"

    I have read that it is common for city-folk to make fun of "dumb farmers" who find the city disorienting. These same city-folk would be just as disoriented in the country -- but would blame the "lack of organization", not their own "dimwittedness" nor (more accurately) lack of context and experience with such an environment.

    In contrast to my dad, my mom spent much of her childhood in a large city in Europe. My parents always seem to pick homes on the edge of town, close enough to the country to make my dad comfortable, close enough to city amenities to make my mom comfortable. I have had some exposure to both sides of the argument and I think they both have their merits.

    Perhaps you would benefit from finding a local who can give you the inside scoop on some things rather than assuming that what you don't understand is illogical, disorganized, etc?

    Not a criticism. Just a few thoughts on a not-too-busy evening for me.
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 21 Jan 2008 at 9:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    "I will admit, it's a humbling, bewilderdering experience. The lack of planning, the lack of development, the lack of... well, any real concept of organization, it seems... "

    Maybe you lived in some perfect little county where Wallyworld fit just in just right. With a little picket fence and roses up to the front door.

    It was the title of the south.... like this is the only place walmart doesn't fit. Which is soooo like all the dissing of the south on Cyburbia. There are horribly planned towns everywhere else but there is not a collective "holy shit how ugy is that" like we get. I swear, you people could go to Nome Alaska and find it more well planned than anyplace in the south.

  6. #6
    Now I remember why I wasn't posting very much.

    And for what it's worth, no, I didn't live in a perfect little county. I lived in a city with one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the United States. The rowhomes don't have little white pickett fences, nor do they have yards, and WalMart can look as out of place there as it does anywhere else.

    If you're on a hair trigger, that's fine, take my remarks out of context and consider everything as a personal attack against the south. Did you ever stop to consider that when I was admitting how bewildered and humbled I was, I was truly admitting that this really is a foreign experience for me, and that my world has, for most of my life, consisted of "the city," with its rowhomes and gang wars and "liquor and package goods" shops on seemingly every other streetcorner, and suburbia, complete with its neat little subdivisions and cul-de-sacs and ornamental plantings and decorative street signs. Did you even try to understand that I was remarking more on how I had been shut off from the vast majority of America - rural America? I am a stranger, in a strange land. I am lost, bewildered, confused. Things are different here. The culture and customs are different. Even some of the language is different. That doesn't mean I don't like it here. That doesn't mean there isn't some underlying reason for everything. Heck, just in seeing the street names and such, I know there's a lot here that goes way back in family histories, Native American culture, etc. But that doesn't automatically make me understand all the nuances. Do I not have the right to be bewildered and humbled and find things odd? Would not an immigrant from Yemen to New York find things bewildering, humbling and just a wee bit odd the first time he set foot in Times Square? I am an immigrant, just the same. Forgive me for not understanding it all immediately.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Yeah, buddy. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon Line today! I'm just not sure who it was. Lighten up already. Walmart is ugly everywhere but we all go there. The North hides most of it's poverty in big cities, the South leaves it out in the rural open. Nobody has an exclusive on ugly development. SuperPenguin's prose is a little bit overblown and ZG's reaction is well, reactionary. Hope you both feel better now that you've got it out of your systems. Peace.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #8
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I do have to agree with ZG that there are crappy, poorly-planned, random, sprawly places all over the country, not just in the South. The scene which SuperPenguin described could be just as readily found in rural or micropolitan North Dakota, Wisconsin, or Michigan. OK, maybe they have something else instead of Waffle House, but still. There's still farms and run-down buildings co-existing with chain hotels and big-box stores, all with a pristine background of beautiful hills, prairie, woodland, lakes, or whatever.

    This should be more of a rural/urban divide thing, not a South/North thing. The rural North and the rural South really aren't that much different from each other. Regardless, it appears that this post wasn't a slam on the South, just an observation of rural America.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Much of rural America is full of seemingly haphazardly planned areas. Perhaps part of the problem is the terrain. Personally I think sprawl looks even worse when applied to mountainous or hilly areas. Ripping away the side of a hill isn't exactly pretty. Without looking at statistics I'd guess there is more rural poverty in the south than in other regions, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. The southern tier of New York (the southern counties that share the straight border with PA) certainly has its share of rural poverty.

    As a side note havinf travled exstensively through rural England rural poverty was noteably absent or at least not as apparent. Now I'm sure the more regulated environment there has led to affordable housing issues in rural villages and many may be little more than bedroom communities for people who make there living in the city, but nonetheless it certainly makes for an attractive countryside.

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    As far as the built environment goes, the big difference I've noticed between the rural South -- and, to some extent, the urban South -- and rural areas in the North, are signs. In former CSA states, signs and billboards seem far larger, taller, and more numerous, even in areas far from Interstates. There are exceptions; much of Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Mississippi. Why the love for humongous signs in the South - I don't know.


    Strips dominated by what I call "mechanical commercial" uses -- heavy equipment rental, machine shops, auto body shops, HVAC and other building trade contractors, camper shell dealers, and so on -- also seem more common. I think the reason for this is partially economic and partially cultural; the numerous small farms created a large market for such businesses, and Southerners seem to be far more adept at "tinkering" with all things mechanical than their Northern cousins. Maybe this was out of necessity; at one time, the South was much poorer than the north, so Southerners learned to be handy, while Northerners paid for a professional to fix their lawn mower or furnace.

    (Cyburbia trivia history: the "the town next door" cliche was based on Winter Garden, Florida, the "town next door" to where I worked. Winter Garden is a place where mechanical commercial and "rugged retail" uses are found in great abundance. I constantly battled against the expansion of a four-mile long strip dominated by such uses as mini-storage units, used tire stores, small engine repair shops, auto body shops and so on, into the municipality where I worked.)






    On the other hand, new urbanist development is far more prevalent in the South than the Northeast and Midwest. Smaller southern cities and towns seem to have much larger planning agencies compared to those in the Great Lakes region; some very large suburbs of Cleveland and Buffalo don't even have a single planner under their payroll. Many cutting-edge concepts in planning seem to be adopted in Southern metros long before they're seen in the Northeast. There's also an influx of new residents from outside the region, which could result in a faster erosion of any "good 'ol boy" networks than in the stagnant Great Lakes region and slow-growing Midwest.







    Much of the rural South was settled by former indentured servants of Scottish and Irish heritage. The multigenerational cycle of poverty in the South actually started in the late 1600s. Violence stemming from breaches of "respect" also had its origins from that time. To learn more about this, check out "Redneck Manifesto" by Jim Goad; a fascinating and informative read. If you really want to blame Southern poverty on anyone, it's the Brits.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian graciela's avatar
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    Hey penguin, did you notice that across the street from Wal-Mart there is a nasty, nasty overblown fill project that destroyed a beautiful floodplain? All so the local big wig guy with a car dealership could have "prime commercial" property on the highway.

    You should check out some of the horrible developments that have happened on the mountaintops around there. One mountain is called "screamer" by the locals. Houses have been plunked all over the place and are completely inaccessible to fire trucks. If the natives living in the 'holler down below burn trash on the wrong day, that whole mountain will go up and those homes will be destroyed.


    It really is sad because the area is really really lovely. If you dare venture across the state line again, you need to check out the National Forest dispersed rec sites around there. There are some great trails, waterfalls and other beautiful places that are off the beaten path and absolutely amazing. There are also some neat old relics from when the area was logged that are really interesting.
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  12. #12
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Wow. Well, I just wanted to support Super Penguin for the heartfelt posting that inspired this discussion and to encourage future posts - don't be dismayed. The piece, I thought, was inspired and worthy of some decent discussion. I did not personally see this as a slight against the South at all. In fact, what I got from the original post was a lament that a land of such austere beauty should be juxtaposed against the corporate uglifying of America by the likes of places like Wal-mart that seem to have little to no regard for context or the impact their stores have on local landscapes. True, this posting centered on the South, and it is featured in the title, but it does happen to be where the poster lives. Indeed, in some respects, this juxtaposition is likely stronger and more dramatic in places of extreme beauty, which Appalachia certainly is, as well as places that have been historically agricultural. It doesn't mean it ONLY happens there, or that southerners are somehow responsible. Personally, I think that places like Wal-mart take advantage of rural areas that often have little or no experience with developments of this scale (and may be enticed by something that can, they think, address issues of unemployment and poverty in their area) and therefore are not in a position to make the kinds of demands that would better protect the local environment and quality-of-life. I've seen it happen here in New Mexico, in Texas, in Washington state, etc.

    The appearance of disorganization you mentioned I think may in part stem from the nature of big box (and particularly Wal-Mart) retailers who often develop on greenspace because it is so cheap. In rural farming areas, this greenspace often emerges from farms that have decided to sell for a myriad of economic reasons, all of which reflect the struggles family farmers have. As a result, some of these places end up getting plopped down in very strange locations. Near our old house south of Albuquerque, a Wal-mart went in on what a year earlier had been an operating farm. Now the store is surrounded by the remaining area farms struggling to survive while runoff from the parking lot pollutes their land and flows into the irrigation caal (because the storm sewer system -approved by the City engineers who perhaps did not scrutinize too closely because the adjacent farms are county land - is inadequate to handle runoff). Of course, local municipalities are complicit in this for allowing such uses to go forward, but it is the promise of gross receipts tax income that often tips the scales (something that is hard to resist in an area of notable poverty such as we have in Albuquerque's South Valley). The contrast between these farmlands lit up by a stunning New Mexico sunset, against a bustling SuperCenter just breaks my heart (or pisses me off, depending on the day).

    Cyberland is a place where it is easy to be misunderstood or misinterpreted and we should work hard to gain clarity or give people the benefit of the doubt before flaming others. In my humble opinion...
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  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Everyone has perceptions. But most places are now looking all the same. The only difference at Wal-Mart anymore, is the accents of the people shopping there. Unfortunately, in the south, they're usually Yankees.
    Emphasis mine.

    You get very defensive in response to a post that offers a critical view of the built environment in one part of a Southern state, meanwhile using the word "Yankee" as a slur. Don't you see something wrong with this?

    You've had a history of doing this in the past; it's okay for you to slam an aspect of a northern state -- consider your posts about New Jersey -- but nobody else should say anything that is the least bit critical of some aspect of the South.

    One formerly active user is gone because of your responses to their post. Yes, departing because of a few posts in a thread may be overly sensitive. Still, you must take a few moments to chill whenever someone posts something that is critical of the South.


  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I don't have the time right now to post a lengthy response but my experiences are similar. Yes I moved to SC from NJ within the past year. Yes I am a born and bred Yankee.

    I believe the hodge podge of uses you see in the south especially along the state highway systems is attributed to the lack of zoning. Most Counties outside of large metropolitan regions i.e. Atlanta, Orlando, and Nashville, did not zone their lands until the 1990's and in some cases still are unzoned. This allows for any use anywhere as long as it meets building codes. I attribute this "late in the game" zoning as well as the strong property rights sense of the south to the mix of uses and the no real semblance of rhyme or reason. Land in the South is all some people have and they want to develop it however they want, if they think a rim shop, gas station, or a strip mall will be the answer and what they think the region needs or what they perceive as making money they want to do it and noone, especially the govt. can tell them otherwise. Unfortunetly, those decisions are based often on feelings and no real market research.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Without looking at statistics I'd guess there is more rural poverty in the south than in other regions, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. The southern tier of New York (the southern counties that share the straight border with PA) certainly has its share of rural poverty.
    According to Census statistics, the poorest areas of the country are Indian reservations far from cities (such as Pine Ridge). Next poorest is the rural south (and southern inner cities). Urban neighborhoods in the North and Midwest are third. These are overall statistics, there may be pockets of poverty anywhere.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Moderator note:


    Emphasis mine.

    You get very defensive in response to a post that offers a critical view of the built environment in one part of a Southern state, meanwhile using the word "Yankee" as a slur. Don't you see something wrong with this?

    You've had a history of doing this in the past; it's okay for you to slam an aspect of a northern state -- consider your posts about New Jersey -- but nobody else should say anything that is the least bit critical of some aspect of the South.

    One formerly active user is gone because of your responses to their post. Yes, departing because of a few posts in a thread may be overly sensitive. Still, you must take a few moments to chill whenever someone posts something that is critical of the South.

    OK. I am reactionary, I admit it. And yes, Yankee is a big-time slur in the south. But I only normally go ballistic when there has been an odd anti-south post. Like Wal-Mart dosn't have the same effect here as anywhere else? And that user had also said he's going away before for some other reason? But if it makes you feel better, I'll go away.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    OK. I am reactionary, I admit it. And yes, Yankee is a big-time slur in the south. But I only normally go ballistic when there has been an odd anti-south post. Like Wal-Mart dosn't have the same effect here as anywhere else? And that user had also said he's going away before for some other reason? But if it makes you feel better, I'll go away.
    Funny, when I read the post, Penguin could have been speaking about rural Central Illinois....except for the hills part.

    The haphazard, older unplanned development of rural areas give it a almost nostalgic feeling that is unmatched by small towns or large cities. Mega-stores, modern high-rise signs and other appurtenances destroy this dystopic harmony with their over-sized industrialized appearances.

    The call of tax dollars are enough to cause almost any rural area or small town to "do whatever it takes" to land the mega-store.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Quite nice. Which one is this? ^

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Aaargh! They still buildin' stuff like this?


    About the whole 'Southern' thing. I haven't traveled as widely in the US as many of the posters here. My impression, however, is that "20 miles outside of [Manhattan/San Francisco/etc.] you're in the rural [Midwest/Old South]." I've typically found mroe commonality in lifestyle and outlook between two suburban soccer moms (how's that for a cliche'???) from a cross the country that peopel iving a 1/2 hr drive from each other.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  19. #19
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I go away for a few months to actually get some work done and look what I return to, a thread argument about my old stomping grounds.

    It appears that our mr. SuperPenquin found himself at the Clayton, Georgia Super Wal-Mart. Otherwise known as the “the most awesomest place in Raburn County.” I kid… sort of. While he was astute in his description of the over-capacity highway and the dichotomy of the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains with the sad sparseness of a giant pervious surface parking lot, I would have to agree with ZG that it’s unfair to ascribe these as particularly Southern or even Appalachian phenomena.

    Outside of possibly Vermont, what SP experienced in Clayton is what has been and is happening in most of rural, small town America. Most of my work load occurs in these places and the prevailing view point amongst community leaders and a lot of the general population tends to be: 1) that new is better than old or historic; 2) Wal-Mart is an economic lifesaver even if it generates no property taxes (and sometimes it is); 3) economic ills can be solved if the government would only spend money on new roads to replace the ones that are currently under capacity; 4) and niceties like design are for other (rich) people… who are to be viewed with suspicion as possible libruls, but that’s a political discussion that’s neither here nor there.

    I see this in town after town, and while the planner in me often has a visceral reaction to this as being a waste of natural resources and tax money, the realist in me sees that there is very little I can do about it other than try to improve the little spot that I occupy.

    So enjoy your time in Appalachia. Just watch yourself as this fella doesn’t approve of Yankees dogging north Georgia.
    Last edited by biscuit; 23 Jan 2008 at 1:02 PM.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I have to agree with both analysis of the Super Penguin and Mr. Biscuit in this case. I'm in NC and I see the "what could have been" & "what happened" all over the western part of the state. SP must have ben in Franklin, NC and driven across the line to Rabun County, GA. Zoning wasn't established until the mid 1990s and in some cases there is still no zoning - much less design / appearance guidelines. Buncombe County, where Asheville, NC is, still doesn't have county-wide zoning and Asheville and Biltmore Forest (which do have zoning and design criteria) are great ciites. Some of the depressed counties think a new McDonalds is economic development. Spruce Pine, NC got a state ed grant (about $800,000 if I recall) to run a water line 5 miles out of town to serve a new Wally World.

    My personal view is the design criteria is a hell of alot more importnant than zoning, but that maybe a topic for another thread.

    On the flip side to this reflection, the first time I went to Detroit (don't kill me here) I thought this town is slap wore out. It used to have neat buildings and some of the close in neighborhoods have great bones (street grid, building placement, nieghborhood shops) but its so run down now.

    We as planners need to be aware of these places and use them as examples to strengthen the needs of your jurisdiction or client. To those that will listen, show them what the potential is on both sides of the coin - good and bad.

    I'm about 3 hours from where SP was speaking about and his refelctions are spot on. ZG got very defensive because the south gets blasted alot (and especially in Florida from those of northern breeding). I grew up down there so I can understand.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I went to college in NC and spent many a happy day in the western part of the state enjoying what is truly some of the most lovely drives I have seen in this wonderful country. Make no mistake as others have mentioned there are some very poor folks and some very poor counties that are looking for just about anyway to bring jobs and money. People will sell their land to a developer so their kids have a chance to get out and hope beyond hope do something with their lives. Heck I lived in rural Alabama for a while and it was the same story but worse. I don't see SP post as anything but a reflection of what he saw on the ground, a snapshot in words from someone with the background to draw more conclusions about what he sees than the average joe.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl View post
    I don't see SP post as anything but a reflection of what he saw on the ground, a snapshot in words from someone with the background to draw more conclusions about what he sees than the average joe.
    Native Georgian here. I pretty much agree with PG's take on the original post, even if that post was a bit over-the-top. Here's my only problem with it:

    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    Or, and I found myself more than once wishing all the darn Waffle House signs would just quit clouding up the sky. But then, I think that down here, that Waffle House means jobs, and food, and a social gathering place to many people, and who am I to tell people to get rid of their lifestyle so that I may appreciate things from my own viewpoint and with my own set of values?
    Don't pick on the Waffle House, dude.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  23. #23
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    Native Georgian here.
    Not a Native Georgian and not even a resident any more but I did enjoy my time in Savannah back in the day. I'd just like to say to SP and ZG, "Y'all come back now, Y'heah."
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  24. #24
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    in the midwest
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    I'm an Iowan, you get a lot of the same type of development here. It's bizarre, the Walmart in Indianola has a backdrop of huge grain bins and corn fields. I think part of it is that rural areas tend to have much less regulation than urban ones do, so unfortunate development is more likely to occur.
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
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    to echo what others have said and i think it is true of rural America, but when the last thing built was the piggly wiggly in the 1970s people want something different, something new. So the prospects of a bigbox and the 100 to 200 jobs looks good and fills out a politicians list of accomplishments. Design is a back burner issues as often is the environment and other issues and seen as something that will hinder growth. Growth for the sake of growth is a good thing in some cases.

    plus what else are you going to do on a friday night, but cruise the parking lot of the local wally world.

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