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Thread: I live in hickville

  1. #1
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    On the Mother River
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    I live in hickville

    We had a hearing for a rezoning for a large video chain. This was going to replace several run-down properties. Most of the site was zoned commercial, but three lots were zoned multi-family. The proposal flew through P&Z with no opposition. In between P&Z and City Council, word got out that the store had a "back room" with adult films. One person said something like this "once the Trojan Horse is wheeled into the gates of the city, the bottom will open and all sorts of filth will be disgorged from the bowels of the Trojan Horse and flow throughout the town" One other person cried at the loss of the innocence of our city. The controversy caused one party to back out of a signed purchase agreement, so the council, eager to dodge that bullet tabled the issue.

    This was going to be a nice in-fill development, so most likely it will move out to the fringe where it can be built by right. How do we get people to see the whole picture? What role do you see NIMBYism playing in the causes of sprawl?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    Midwest
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    438

    Infill Development Turned down!

    Last night at a P&Z meeting a new Garden Home development, roughly 22 homes on 5 acres was turned down, for a few concerns, I think the only true concern probably drainage. The families say they don't want the densities it would produce, because the surrounding lots are about 3/4 to 1 acre lots... They cry land values, yada, yada, yada, densities, yada yada yada... Whats the point the small city has one of the highest densities in the whole state and they cry about one infill development that actually would probably increase land values and has been landscaped very nicely... Only downside in my opinion is its a gated community which I feel is not really needed... but oh well why do people have such a problem in the midwest with higher density developments, when done in an urban setting... It really BAFFLES me...

  3. #3
    BANNED
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    Aug 2001
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    European Union
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    Porn in Iowa? Who woulda thunk it?! Looks like you should move.

    Here's my perspective. I'm in the midwest, Detroit to be exact, and anything goes around here. We have all kinds of diversity. If ya don'ts like porn, then you don't go near it. Simple as that.

    But, if your community doesn't want that store with the "back room" then that is okay, right? As planners don't we have a duty to plan for the communities for which we are employed? I think we do. I sure would hate to be a defender of porn, especially as a public servant, when the whole community doesn't want anything to do with it. Just be sure to keep those folks away from the library, lest they find some great books they wanna ban.

  4. #4
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Banning books? Don't get me started. There was a book in the middle school library that had homosexual content. Some tried very hard to get it removed. At the video store meeting I was having flashbacks of the town meeting in the movie footloose.

    The problem is, if the company finds a location where no rezoning is needed, they can come to town anyway. So we end up with the store out on the edge next to Wal Mart when it could have been closer to our dying downtown. Keep in mind, this wasn't a small, seedy, low rent adult pleasure palace, it was a huge chain store with several thousand titles of which around 100 are adult titles. Why couldn't the store do without those few movies? Good question

    <As planners don't we have a duty to plan for the communities for which we are employed? >

    That is exactly why I helped both sides with their arguments. I posted the story as an example of how politics help to push development out to the fringe and how a community can get tunnel vision of an arguably small issue.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 07 Feb 2006 at 12:39 PM.

  5. #5

    I too, live in hickville...

    Some states, not all, but some have a provision in their enableing legislation that gives the city x-number of days to act on the recommendation of the planning commission. This is an integral part of due process, there is no postponement or tabling of due process. If the city fails to act within the x-number of days, then the action of the planning commission becomes law. You may want to check that out.

    If the city wants to address the problem of x-rated videos, they need to do so through their general code of ordinances, not zoning. Pornography is not a land use issue.

    I found that in small towns or rural areas, the planner often becomes the fix it person within government. It's a combination of two things, one, noboby minds making the planner out to be the bad guy, and two, planners are less likely to back down in the face of adversity, like the good old boy network or public opposition.

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