• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Letters to the Editor

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Does anybody have any awful planning related letters to the editor? I credit people for being interested in local development, but some like this guy just want to spread misinformation and impose their tastes on everyone else. This is from my City of residence. The last line is perfect. The Planning Director calmly wrote back the next week.

Note: Hartford Ave. projects were several 11 story crime ridden projects in Providence which have been partially demolished – a far cry from cluster development. I’ve deleted extra text to keep it short as well as his name.



Avoid Dumb Growth
Cranston Herald
6/6/02
To the Editor:
The article in the May 16 edition of the Cranston Herald by Jason King entitled “Smart Growth” had some positives but also some negative concepts.

As we consider development of the City of Cranston over the next several years, there are two critical areas of concern. The first is the immediate need to revitalize the eastern end of the city . . .

The second concept cited was the manner in which the growth in the western end of the city is to be approached. There is a “Grow Smart” plan that is referenced, but when it refers to the rural western end of the city it may be a misnomer. It could be called “grow dumb.” The plan uses terms like “cluster housing” rather than the never to be forgotten word “projects,” like the Hartford Avenue housing projects. Call it cluster if you want, but it means packing more people in a smaller amount of space and that is not attractive, desirable and certainly not smart. Let’s face it, would more people prefer to live in the open, clean and green, or would they rather live in closely packed apartment/cluster/project style housing? Cluster housing zones should be eliminated from the comprehensive plan for the city. . .

Finally, the decision on the direction of Cranston growth rests with the people, so pay attention. You elect the council and the mayor and they assign people to planning and zoning boards, so pick wisely. It never ceases to amaze me how Americans simply do not understand the workings of their government.

[Name] Cranston
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
I have one titled "City planners should leave the scheming to the people"

It criticizes money spent for a downtown riverfront plan and on other downtown planning efforts

My favorite lines are at the end

"Ultimately, the planners contribute no more to the health of the city than do the bums ont he street. And the bums ask for my money. The planners just take it."
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
I actually think it is a well intentioned, well written, and reasonable letter when read without knowing the context.

This is what the debate is about, Like it or not, many people are not sold on the "smart growth" increased density thing.

And why isn't the act of , let's say, requiring clustered housing, the act of imposing taste upon others.

Let's keep our eye on the ball here, there are two sides.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
27
The average Joe does not understand cluster development. You don't know how many times I've heard people equate cluster housing with low-income housing. They assume that all cluster developments are rentals and perceive them as a big threat to their neighborhood.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
There are definitely 2 sides to it, but some people take any proposal and think you're scheming to bus the Bloods n' Crips into their neighborhood. Every local area has an awful public housing project that's used as an example to protest any change to zoning. I don't expect everyone to be city planning afficionados, but the way this guy thinks he understands local government better than everyone else is what makes him rediculous.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,422
Points
44
Bringing this one back too!

Last week I read a letter to the editor in the news paper from my home town praising the current mayor. Well I had been home a week earlier and was truly appalled at the condition of the community and some of the stories that my family members had concerning the current mayor. In the letter the resident had commented that the city had gone through 4 city managers while this mayor has been in office. Which has only been a few years.

SO… I sent a letter stating that the city manger should be a consistent individual and last through several mayors and that the rapid change is obvious indication that the current mayor lacks the necessary leadership to lead a community. I just got an e-mail asking for my phone number to verify my existence. I already got the OK with family members who live and work in the community and I hope that they print it today.
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,583
Points
22
Mud Princess said:
They assume that all cluster developments are rentals and perceive them as a big threat to their neighborhood.
That's because "cluster" implies density. "Conservation subdivision" is our preferred term.
 
Messages
1,580
Points
21
That letter doesn't seem too unreasonable to me. Given that he believes cluster to be synonymous with projects, it is even more reasonable. *shrug* Perhaps a more precise explanation of cluster housing should be provided to shatter this misconception.
 
Top