IN THE NEWS: VOLUME ONE

Topics that have been the focus of past Bacon’s Rebellion Columns and Posts:

Item One:

The Wealth Gap was still getting wider in 2007 – the latest numbers from Federal Reserve.

Fundamental Transformation of the economic system (as well as Fundamental Transformation of the settlement pattern and Fundamental Transformation of the governance structure) or Collapse.

Item Two:

Working at home seems to lead to layoffs for Teleworkers.

Too bad that Telework was not more intelligently positioned as a strategy to support the evolution of Balanced Communities instead of a crutch for long commutes.

Item Three:

US Census says migration to “the Outer Suburbs nearly halts” in the National Capital Subregion

Eat your heart out NVTA and the 12.5 Percenters.

Item Four:

Commonwealth Transportation Board has set new regs that will discourage cul-de-sad subdivisions. A favorite topic of Jim Bacon’s

Only 35 years too late. EMR testified against them and in favor of inter-Cluster connections in 1973. Wake us when municipalities and the Commonwealth agree to retrofit / interconnect Orphan Subdivisions to create interconnected Clusters, Neighborhoods and Villages.

Item Five:

CNN has to updating it’s running tab of newspaper closings hourly.

Another Jim Bacon favorite: Who WILL gather and report the news? See THE ESTATES MATRIX

EMR


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101 responses to “IN THE NEWS: VOLUME ONE”

  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Who are you going to blame after Mainstream Media coses Down?

    RH

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “The Wealth Gap was still getting wider …”

    Rich people get wealthier faster than poor people.

    Why is that news?
    When you say the wealth gap is STILL getting wider, it sounds as if you think we should do something about it.

    It is one thing to say that everyone should get a fair shot at life. It is one thing to remove systemic unfairness, as I have argued with Larry.

    But, if you actually give two people essentially equal opportunities and one does twice as much with it as the other, does that mean we should transfer a third of the “excess” to the loser, JUST to reduce the wealth gap?

    Is reducing the wealth gap a goal in itself, or is it just another example of mob rule stealing from the other guy?

    RH

  3. Larry G Avatar

    EMR – you wont’ find me singing the blues because the “come heres” have decided to go away.

    They very demanding and obnoxious.

    They move here and drive up the cost of housing for those that practice “real” smart growth -you know the kind where you live AND work in the Fredericksburg Area.

    These same obnoxious folks whine and bleat plaintively about their commute.. how terrible it is and how “someone” needs to add more free lanes to I-95 and provide them with subsidies for VRE Commuter rail.

    They also demand 24/7 Fire and Rescue.. when the folks who lived here (and work here) know that they cannot afford such gold-plated amenities.

    No matter.. the “come-heres” will not be denied.

    And the subdivision deal…

    part of 3202 along with Access Management and UDAs and UTSDs…

    boo hoo.. in order for VDOT to accept state maintenance.. each new subdivision has to have TWO entrances AND it must connect to other neighborhoods…

    My GOD…all those deviants will now swarm down into the “come-heres” precious cul-de-sacs… and do “stuff”.. unspeakable “stuff”…

    Danger! Danger! Will Robinson.. we paved over paradise and now they’re taking suburbia away from us.

    HA!!

    A real HORROR story.. revenge of the red neck 2 1/2 percenters!

    I went walking today as is customary .. to keep fit and to keep that black lab from getting too “frumpy” …

    in the battlefield parks and it’s a sad thing.

    Clearly visible are the hundreds and hundred of houses that now “back up” to the Battlefields…

    so you go through the Battlefields and as you stand there reading the interpretive sign.. Edna’s adorable “fluffy” – a yapping pure bred ankle biter.. is patrolling the back yard…

    Of course the residents of said house.. bought it -on purpose so they could have a Battlefield as a “backyard amenity” .. much, much better than another home that looks like theirs… with it’s own yapping “fluffy”.

    and these same folks.. every morning clog the local roads clawing their way towards I-95 where they will then spend the next 1 to 2 hours flirting with their next door neighbors with their one-finger salutes…

    so.. EMR.. we have met the enemy.. and we has GOTS our just desserts…

    All those mortgage foreclosures?

    It’s GOOD STUFF.

    My understanding is that our local teachers – you know – the ones who actually practice smart growth instead of talking about it at wine and cheese sories…hey.. they can now afford to buy a home now that they are once again “affordable”.

    I hear tell that someone is forming a new group – Suburbia Anonymous for those poor souls to find their way back to ..settlement pattern …nirvana.

    Congratulations EMR!

  4. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Too bad that Telework was not more intelligently positioned as a strategy ….”

    Telework was used as bait to attract workers when they were needed.

    The ability to work from home is a valuable perk for BOTH sides: the employer potentially has less overhead and employee stress, and the worker gets free time out of The travel time budget for other tasks. I once built a whole boat that way.

    But now if the employees are not needed, then neither is the bait. Same goes for the company gym. Most palces I’ve been, no one senior would be caught dead using the Gym. I suggests you are not serious about your work.

    RH

  5. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Gee Larry, tell us how you really feal about newcomers: just shoot ’em at the border.

    Never mind that the place they are coming to was once owned by your neighbors, just likethe pace you came to was once owned by THEIR neighbors.

    Course, we got here first, so we get to claim all the unused proerty rights as if they were ours.

    Whewee.

    RH

  6. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Commonwealth Transportation Board has set new regs that will discourage[NE] cul-de-sad subdivisions. A favorite topic of Jim Bacon’s” [since he lives in one]. .

    Existing cul-de-sacs will be around for a long time. Want to make a bet on waht happens to prices for cul-de-sac homes when no more are being built?

    Get em now while they are cheap. Speculate your tail off and pay for the loans with inflated dollars.

    Retire early.

    RH

    RH

  7. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Sorry, that should have said [new] cul-de-sacs.

    RH

  8. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Dow up 500 points, sure sounds like a collapse.

  9. Larry G Avatar

    The Locusts of Suburbia.

    A breathtaking story of the trials and tribulations of the poor oppressed in search of granite countertops and built-in fridges…. on a nicely landscaped …cul-de-sac connected to a superhighway to work – all paid for by others because “I deserve it”.

    the follow-on thriller:

    ” I was sub-prime and did not even know it”. Oh the shame.

  10. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    – all paid for by others because “I deserve it”

    It’s the American way in everything from housing to Metro to environmental protection.

    It all works because any coalition can get a majority once. And every one of them thinks it is “free, no cost: we’ll stick the other guy.”

    Greed is Good.

    Is this a great country or what?

    RH

  11. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Nothing in the new subdivision street regulations prevents cul-de-sacs. It will be harder for new ones to be accepted for maintenance by the state. Build ahead!

  12. Larry G Avatar

    cul-de-sacs are not outright outlawed as a requirement to get them accepted by the state, I don't think – especially if there are no other practical configurations.

    But subdivisions that are specifically designed to maximize cul-de-sacs might have to choose between private roads and state maintenance.

    And this is not a trivial issue as the post office, fire&rescue, and schools …and even mortgage companies treat private roads differently.

    Access Management – the closing of median cross-overs, and the limiting of curb-cuts and requiring intra-parcel connections ought to further reduce congestion and increase throughput on the arterials.

    There was much derision of 3202 because of the penalties and fines that were quickly rejected but 3202 had a bunch of stuff in it.. and much of it has survived and is now being implemented by VDOT.

    Note that on the cul-de-sac rule – that not only are private roads an option but so would be the locality taking over the maintenance…

    but what VDOT is essentially saying is that if it is a public street then it needs to function as a contributing part of the street network and not essentially be a publically-maintained private street.

    this is yet another example where the developers are saying that they are "only" providing what the market wants…

    so DUH… what market would not want a private road maintained by the state?

  13. Groveton Avatar

    Wow.

    LarryG – when all of the “come here” commuters move closer to their jobs they will (presumably) take their kids with them. Then your local teachers will have no one to teach. They’ll be laid off. I hope they enjoy living in those foreclosed homes while it lasts.

    As for being frustrated with the “come heres” – dude…. Welcome to my nightmare. One thir of the people in NoVA are either from NoVA or have adopted NoVA as their home. I like these people. One third are from failed cities like Buffalo and Cleveland. They all talk about how great it is in those places. Makes me wonder why they don’t go back. But the worst third are the dipsticks from elsewhere in Virginia who come here for the jobs, incoherently ramble on about “the real Virginia” and finally leave after about 30 years (almost always for Florida or Arizona despite their endless mutterings about “the real Virginia”). Jeez.

    There were 500,000 people in Fairfax County in 1970. There are 1.1M today. I’d be happy to go back to the 500K number. In fact, I’d be thrilled. But it’s not going to happen. TMT is right – we need an adequate public facilities law. There’s nothing wrong with growth and increasing population density – as long as it’s intelligently managed.

    Cul de sacs are all part of a game of leap frog. Everybody wants to live on a cul de sac. Why? Because no matter how far out you move there is someone who will move farther out. And they (and their neighbors) will drive down your street in an endless procession of traffic if you live on a through street. Fairfax County went through a phase where they tried to connect neighborhoods. I once lived in an 40 year old house next to a new neighborhood being built. Fairfax County insisted that the streets connect despite the fact that neither residents of the old neighborhood nor the new neighborhood wanted the connection. The county said they needed the connection for emergency vehicles. In the years I lived there I never saw a flashing light on the street.

    Fast forward. An expensive new neighborhood called The Reserve was built on previously undeveloped land between Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion in McLean. In order to maximize convienience for the residents there are entrances to the new neighborhood on both Georgetown Pike and on Old Dominion Dr. This would have certainly become either a source of new arterial traffic flow or a stinkin’ cut through (depending on your perspective). And the county could have played their “emergency vehicle” rule to keep the streets connected. So, what happened? The developer built a manned gatehouse in the middle of the sub-division that separates the neighborhood into two halves. If you are a resident you can pass from one side to the other. If not, you can’t. At least, that’s what it seems like to me. Presumably they gate operator will open the gate for an emergency vehicle but not for me when I want to cut through. In fairness, I don’t know if the streets in the neighborhood are owned and maintained by the residents or by the county. But I do know that future developments will own the streets in a neighborhood association if that lets them keep the cul de sacs. So, what’s the government going to do? Refuse to allow people to build streets on their own property in the way they want to build them? Should the government regulate how driveways and private country lanes are built in Farmville too? Or is government regulation of private property something that should only be applied to the suburbs?

    RH – I am afraid that Robert Reich was right in Supercapitalism. Technology has permanently changed the distribution of wealth from relatively more even distribution to relatively less even distribution. That trend can’t go on forever. It’s not that the rich are too rich. It’s that the poor are too poor. No society can allow the increasing polarization of wealth forever. Eventually something goes bang. Technology is like training techniques in professional sports. As a real NoVA guy, I love the Redskins. Growing up my favorite player was Pat Fisher. Pat played conerback. He was short (5’9″ it said in the program), small (170 pounds it said) and slow – at least by NFL standards. But he was tough as shoe leather, utterly fearless and mean as a snake. His name is now one of the few permanently on display at FedEx Field. Pat Fisher made himself the best football player he could be and that allowed him to be great. There were others like him too. Fred Belitnicoff comes to mind. I can’t see people like them even making NFL teams today. Guts and determination can’t compensate for size and speed given the state of modern training techniques. And pluck (increasingly) won’t compensate for superior intelligence and raw talent given the state of modern technology. I suppose that the final sunset will happen when the last working human is replaced by a machine. In the meantime, those who are replaxced by “machines” lose and those who own and operate the machines win. As you have often said, it’s incumbent on the winners to pay off the losers and still stay ahead. That’s what’s going on. I read a blog that said 40,000 of the people in New York pay 90% of the taxes in New York. It seemed impossible when I read it but I am not so sure it is impossible. I’ve also heard that the top 5% of wage earners pay 55% of all federal income taxes. And the top 50% of wage earners pay over 96% of all federal income taxes. So, the dipsticks like Nancy Pelosi bemoan “tax cuts for the rich” while the rich complain that they pay almost all the taxes anyway. Meanwhile, Robert Reich stands virtually alone in understanding that the rich can pay all the taxes and still not pay enough to maintain an orderly democracy.

    Maybe the Luddites were right after all.

  14. Groveton Avatar

    Also – while we are all arguing about cul de sacs in Virginia, there is a slightly more important story in play:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7851925a-17a2-11de-8c9d-0000779fd2ac.html

    From the article:

    “This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC.

    I never thought I’d live in a world where the only people making economic sense are the Communist Chinese.

    Mark my words – the “Obama Recovery” will be great for a while. Then inflation will ignite and the current collapse will seem trivial.

  15. Darrell -- Chesapeake Avatar
    Darrell — Chesapeake

    Down here in Tidewater, the cities only wanted one way in or out. The whole freakin development would be a cul de sac because too many streets made the main roads look unsightly. I think it had more to do with traffic management.

    I can kinda see their point. The main drag in Fresno, CA took more than two hours to go from end to end because there was a damn stop light every other block. I see the same thing on some of Norfolk’s grid streets.

    Wanna see something funny?

    http://taxdollars.freedomblogging.com/2009/03/23/state-considers-ban-on-big-screen-tvs/12993/

    82 comments, only three agreed. In Calif. no less.

  16. Larry G Avatar

    most of my complaint is tongue-in-cheek though the folks who move here from NoVa are pretty damned demanding about what they want.

    There is none of this – ” I’d like to join this community”.. Instead – ” where are my services, dude?” and “Gee.. why can’t they run METRO down the middle of I-95 to Fredericksburg”

    These guys show up at the tax rate hearings …asking FOR Tax Increases…

    re: “TMT is right – we need an adequate public facilities law. There’s nothing wrong with growth and increasing population density – as long as it’s intelligently managed.”

    that’s right. That’s a 3-fer..in this blog – at the least.

  17. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    OMG – two people have said I’m right about something. Too bad my kids don’t know about my blogging alter ego. But they wouldn’t believe it anyway.

    Seriously, why do we need adequate public facilities laws? Because everyone loses when development occurs without sufficient public facilities. Make that everyone but the current landowner and the developer.

    Case in point. Lobbyists for the Tysons landowners have persuaded the Parks Authority that it should not insist on having athletic fields in Tysons for any of the planned 100,000 Tysons residents. Let them drive to McLean or Vienna. Get that — America’s showcase walkable community would require residents to get into their vehicles and drive to some other location for any sporting events.

    Tysons Tomorrow — a scuzz-bucket PR front for the Route 7 landowners has banners all over Tysons that read “Imagine People Instead of Cars.” Truth-in-advertising would require a second sign that would say “Just Kidding. You’ll still need cars to engage in any outdoor recreational activities beyond strolling on the sidewalk.”

    Fortunately, Gerry Connolly is gone from the BoS. And a number of Planning Commissioners, along with Supervisor Linda Smyth, have said that Tysons need self-contained recreational facilities.

    Supervisor Smyth and Planning Commissioner Ken Lawrence have said: “We need to ensure that people have the option of staying out of their cars and playing in their own neighborhood.” Fortunately, this can be done as part of a Comp Plan review.

    “There’s nothing wrong with growth and increasing population density – as long as it’s intelligently managed” Agreed.

    APF is part of intelligent management.

    TMT

  18. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “…the closing of median cross-overs, and the limiting of curb-cuts”

    Wait a minute: doesn’t a grid street system do just the opposite? Isn’t every new intersection equivalent to a curb cut AND a crossover?

    This is a legit question. Help me out here. I see these two arguments as diametrically opposed.

    —————————-

    “…then it needs to function as a contributing part of the street network and not essentially be a publically-maintained private street.”

    Agreed, let’s call it what it is. Hard to believe Larry came out in favor of honesty and fairness for once.

    I live on a cul-de-sac, and I maintain it myself (such as it is).

    Incidentally, I went through Gilberts corner today and saw the new roundabout, nearly finished.

    What a freaking disaster! What wer they tinking? This thing is smaller that the turn around in my driveway, and it isn’t even aligned with the road. You brask left then right to enter thte circle, break levt to go around the circle , break right to et out o fht circle, and break left again to continue on, on Rte 50.

    I have no idea what the Rte 15 side looks like yet, but it appears top be more of the same.

    Then, the circle itself is a raised object with sloping sides, made out of very nice brick and stonework, whichis however utterly useless construcion. The only time enypon will ever use it is if they miss the circle and hit it.

    In that case the slope of the stonework is guarnateed to launch them airborne into the oncoming traffic. They would have been better off to just make it a sand or mud pit that would at least absorb runoff and act as an energy absorber when, inevitably, someone hits it.

    This is going to be another example of the T intersection near my home that VDOT has used as sign reconstruction training site for the last 20 years.

    And speaking of signs, they are not up yet. When they are, all that pretty brick ans stonework will be pretty near invisible.

    What a collossal freaking waste. And it has only taken as long to construct as TWO overpasses on Rte 28. This is going to make the crosswalk/speedbump/rumblestrip they installed right in front of the Church in Upperville look like a brilliant idea.

    RH

    RH

  19. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “…Fairfax County went through a phase where they tried to connect neighborhoods. I once lived in an 40 year old house….”

    I know a neighborhood like that. Signs announcing the coming cut throughs have been in place for decades.

    I know another wone where the signs say “cut through enforcement in place”

    I never could figure out if that meant you HAVE to cut through or are prohibited from cutting through……

    RH

  20. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “If you are a resident you can pass from one side to the other. If not, you can’t.”

    Oh, that is just classic.

    RH

  21. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “That trend can’t go on forever. It’s not that the rich are too rich. It’s that the poor are too poor. No society can allow the increasing polarization of wealth forever. Eventually something goes bang. “

    I agree, actually.

    We need a fair playing field onthe bottom. Also, which I did not mention, wealthy people have a LOT more to protect, and they should expect to pay more.

    Despite the conservative talking head mantra, rich people do not create all the jobs or all the money and investments. They are not going broke, unless they invested with Madoff. Andit isn’t as if we are confiscating all that much compared to other countries.

    Yet to hear some people tell it we are confiscating maor stashes of wealth instead of allowing it to grow more slowly.

    The wealthy do have a vested interest in keeping a good portion of their money conservatively invested, and unlike someone determined to be upwardly mobile, they can afford to do so. They are not the real drivers of ambition, I think.

    There is a strong argument to be made that the disparity has become too great. I also think we have advanced to the point that the very bottom levels cannot even cope, let alone succeed.

    But we also cannot simply take people’s property because we think they have too much. One thing we might do is incentivise them to give more, but I’m not sure how.

    We have people who are experts at following the money, tracking down drug cartels, etc. With enough effort we could create some kind of input/output diagrams for the very rich, like we do for the general economy with the SIC codes.

    With enugh effort, we could probalby come up with some kind of objective measure of when the poor and middle class are subsidisng the rich and when it is the other way around.

    We have to first agree it is worth doing, and then agree on procedures to follow, that do not depend on the rantings of the talking heads on either side.

    We have been grading on an economic curve, and ther has been considerable grade creep. But if the real measure of academic success is money and fame (plus private satisfaction), then what kind of external measure do you use to determine the real masure of economic success? Philanthropy?

    My only point in my remark to EMR is that he seems to think that income equalization is a goal unto itself, and this is a recurring theme with him.

    What i’d like to hear is how much equalization is enough? And on what basis can we justify it in a way that provides a net social benefit? The talking heads would have you believe there is none.

    But this is a hard problem. The usual situation is that someone propses a public benefit and then they try to get it for nothing: ignoring those that pay for it. If there is a public benfit thenthe winners ought to be able to payoff the losers and still be ahead.

    In this case, we are asking the winners to become the losers, and take theleap of faith that they will be better off in the end.

    “What good all that money, it no go round and round.”

    Jesus Ramirez.

    RH

  22. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Robert Reich stands virtually alone in understanding that the rich can pay all the taxes and still not pay enough to maintain an orderly democracy.”

    I think you and EMR are right.

    We are doomed.

    Therefore there is no point in tring to fix things, no more call for fundamental change: it is already too late.

    What we should be doing is planning for an orderly doom.

    RH

  23. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “I never thought I’d live in a world where the only people making economic sense are the Communist Chinese.

    Mark my words – the “Obama Recovery” will be great for a while. Then inflation will ignite and the current collapse will seem trivial.”

    I agree. Borrow all the money you can get your hands on.

    Forget about saving, and buy tangible things on credit. Pay back the loans ten years from now at 40 cents on the dollar if there are any banks left to collect.

    By then, all the useless junk we have collected wiill have recycled throught the flea markets and yard sales a few times and found its real value. (I once sold a dozen Superman drinkig glasses at a yard sale for more than they cost when I bought them – full of peanut butter, go figure).

    When this isver, real stuff like tools and equipment will be worth something, and the people to run it won’t be.

    Too bad, coporations are allowed ot organize, but unions are not.

    RH

  24. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Make that everyone but the current landowner and the developer.”

    I don’t buy that. What we hear here is that the undeveloped land saves the other county taxpayers plenty.

    Then after decades or even centuries of over paying their taxes (an this is by admissionof county oddicials), the current landowners are suddenly held to a different standard.

    Now it is a windfall.

    Exept here is waht happens, and this is well documented. If you have something like APF or big fees, or restrictive development rules, then about half of that is recognized as lower prices for current landowners, and the other half as lower profits for the developers.

    If the developer cannot split the difference and make a profit, he goes someplace else: more sprawl.

    Nobody care about the developers: they are transients anyway.

    But the current landowner is your own long suffering neighbor. The one that maintained the green space that brought you here – as long as he could afford it.

    He’s the guy scraping by with a pumpkin patch and a few goats. The guy that lets the scouts camp over, and the neghbors walk their dos, ride their horses.

    And when conditions cause him to finally cash in, when he just cannot do it anymore, you want to call THAT a windfall? After people have been knocking on his door for decades?

    I’m sorry, but if you think that is a windfall, you have no idea hat you are talking about.

    I recognize that in your area it is differnt. there is no pumpkn patch etc. But the financial aspects are the same: sooner or later you have to let the uy get out.

    It isn’t your property if you cannot sell it for what a willing buyer will pay. If the damn county wants to keep the damn pumkin patch, thenthey can pay what it costs.

    If you don’t want it developed,then you can go buy it and sit on it.

    But don’t go around whining because someone else made a bigger profit because they took the risk and paid the expense of hanging on longer to do it.

    That windfall crap is just that. Or else it is an overture to steal the real value of someone else’s land, based on some call for publiv beneits.

    Unpaid for, of course.

    No one seems to call THAT a windfall.

    RH

    RH

  25. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “America’s showcase walkable community would require residents to get into their vehicles and drive to some other location for any sporting events. “

    Now, that is an argument that makes a little more sense.

  26. Larry G Avatar

    re: access management and grid streets

    the key observation…. managed access…

    grid streets typically don’t go for for block after block with no traffic signals and people pulling out from inside the grids and crossing medians (which generally places with grid streets don’t have anyhow).

    So a road like Route 50 is not a grid street and likely never will be (perhaps Tysons will become an example of conversion from a Route 50-type road to a grid…).

    but the key phrase is to manage the access so that the throughput – the ability of the road to function as a through-road (if that is the intent) is preserved and that development is prevented from co-opting the road and destroying it’s original intended utility – ..essentially converting the road to a business venue…

    I’m sure all of us have been on a median-divided road with so many curb cuts and cross-over medians that it’s just this side of controlled chaos…

    Such roads cannot be called “grid” or even “grid-like” but perhaps a good question is why are they not grid streets to start with?

  27. Larry G Avatar

    APF is not about taxes and not about development rights.

    Everyone pays taxes and most if not all of your taxes pay for the operation of the county to provide services.

    Undeveloped land is not taxed at the same rate of land with improvements on it and while some might make the argument that taxes are too high on undeveloped land…

    none of that has anything what-so-ever to do with the need for new infrastructure to MAINTAIN existing level-of-services levels when new development occurs.

    APF basically means what it says – a policy to ensure that Adequate public facilities – meaning maintaining the desired levels of service as development and growth occur

    and to not allow levels-of-service to degrade by NOT making sure that …adequate public facilities are built to maintain LOS.

    The argument that owners of undeveloped land have already paid taxes for infrastructure is BS in most cases.

    virtually all local government budgets are divided up into operational budgets and capital investment budgets.

    Most local governments try to keep taxes low by not charging more than is necessary for the operation of the county.

    so those taxes go for things like salaries…heating/cooling, cars, gasoline… etc

    … and enough tax is set aside to replace the buildings that these employees use – like replacing the courts or the county administration or the jail when they get old and worn out.

    What happens when you need NEW building? New, additional parks and libraries …schools..fire & rescue?

    where does this money come from for adding facilities for NEW residents?

    The mindset that someone has "already" paid their taxes when they own undeveloped land taxed at a fraction of what land with improvements is taxed at is .. nebulous.

    The refrain that they don't get "nothing" for their taxes begs the question to start with.

    Go to any rural county in BuFu Egypt… far away from NoVa and where undeveloped land will stay undeveloped for as as long and as far as the eye can see – and they still pay taxes on it.

    And if they put improvements on it – the taxes go up – even though you'll not likely get any more in services.

    How this works has absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with development and infrastructure and EVERYTHING to do with how we fund government at the local level.

    Everyone pays taxes… on what they own… to pay for the OPERATION of government.

    don't confuse the method used to pay for government with the need to add new infrastructure when growth occurs – and who should pay for that new infrastructure.

    The argument that RH is using is the same one that the developers who are opposed to proffers and impact fees use and it's been thoroughly discredited in virtually every area across the US except in places like Virginia that have the Dillon rule – which basically allows the development community to shackle local governments by preventing the GA from granting them the ability to enact APF ordinances.

    So.. what the developers in Va want at the GA level – is to force localities to accept projects like Tysons and not be able to require that development to maintain the LOS.

    So.. the developers say… "let them go use the McClean facilities" – as if those facilities would not be overwhelmed by the additional of people beyond it's original design capacity.

    We have the same attitude about the roads.

    We don't want to talk about levels of service.. for roads or for rec facilities or fire & rescue because if we did – we'd have to admit that when you add more people to an existing facility and you don't add infrastructure – the level of service goes down…degrades..

    and what the developers say – is that you build..then worry about LOS and what APF says is that no… if you KNOW you're going to ADD people.. you also ADD the infrastructure to support them… at the time you add the people – not after.

    So Virginia localities have essentially enacted their own APF via proffers – and guess what the developers are up to – they at the GA attempting to outlaw proffers – naturally.

    Heck.. if I were a developer, I'd not want to have to provide these facilities either.. that's human nature….

    but it disregards the issue of

    1. – recognizing that there is such a thing as LOS

    2. – that it can be degraded by building more than the existing infrastructure can handle

    3. -that when growth occurs – if you don't ….adequately plan for facilities – that you will degrade the LOS.

    4. – any elected official who supports development without acknowledging the impact on existing facilities and LOS is, irresponsible if he/she does not require that LOS not be degraded.

  28. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “some might make the argument that taxes are too high on undeveloped land… “
    Again i realize it is different where you are, but around the report is consistently made, by county employees and officials, that vacant land SUBSTANTIALLY subsidizes the rest of the voters.

    That is because the vacant land is taxed IN ADDITION to the regular resiential taxes on part of the property. And while it is at a lower rate, it is virtually free money to the county because it requires no addititonla infrastructure and services. The lower rate is also a quid pro quo for having the use of the land restricted to the lowest category of use for decades, when it might have earned much more doing something else – anything else, in fact.

    So my point is that it is inconsistent, to say the least, that land which subsidizes others for decades is suddenly a “windfall” that the rest of the county should feel free to tap into — Again.

    And this argument isn’t being made by me, it is made by those that controlthe budget. They claim that farms and vacant property pay more than twice what they cost the county. they say the reason we need to keepthe farms is that they keep other people’s taxes low.

    To which my question is, if you really want to keep the farms, why tax them at twice what they cost? I’ve never had an official respond to that question.

    But the point is that there seems to be some sloopy or inconsistent accounting going on. If vacant land IS paying more than its fair share for decades than that ought to be taken into account before you accuse the seller of carpet bagging. Particuarly since about half of any kind of development fees charged the developer actually come out of the price offered to the land sellers.

    Infrastructure still has to be built, but you can’t very well use up all your “free money” for decades, subsidizing others and then turn around and say, gee, suddenly we have no money to support this growth. It is simply a result of bad planning that means some people pay twice.

    Beating up on the developers and windfall profits of land sellers is a popular sport, but it isn’t really very well supported by the facts.

    Requiring no degradation in LOS and full payment for all new infrastructure through APF is pretty much akin to requirng no new pollution. It simply cannot be done. You may as well just be honest about what you are doing and say “no new building here”.

    If the county does not want building someplace, then the county should buy the land. It is the county residents who will enjoy the resulting high LOS, not the landowner. Later, when it is time to develop, you can take the infrastructure money out of the county’s “windfall profits”.

    Then you will find out how practical tht idea really is.

    RH

  29. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Everyone pays taxes… on what they own… to pay for the OPERATION of government.”

    Nonsense.

    I’m telling you that my officials have said over and over and over and over, for decades, published inthe paper and in governemtn meetings and reports, that this is NOT TRUE.

    Some people are not paying enough for operation of government and others pay a lot more.

    If the people who are not paying enough did so, instead of free riding, then EITHER there would be something to put in the capital fund, which would come from the vacant land ahead of time, or you could reduce the taxes on vacant land and the owner could apply the saving to future development costs.

    But the way things run now, this argument is simply wrong: it is NOT the vacant landowners who are somehow stealing from the public. As usual, it is the other way around, with the majority spouting off any kind of lies they think they can get away with in order to beatup on the minorities.

    RH

  30. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “APF is not about taxes and not about development rights.”

    Of course it is, and all the rest of the argument is both false and a red herring.

    Nobody is calculating the costs and the benefits correctly precisely because they want the benefits without the costs.

    Either they want the developmet and want someone else to pay ALL of the costs – twice – while they cash in on whatever benefits doacrrue from development.

    OR

    They don’t want the development and won’t pay the costs of avoiding it. Placing the burden of opportunity cost losses and higher taxes on the backs of a minority.

    Either you have to do a real accounting to figure out who pays what, in which case the argument for APF will be a lot smaller (not go away, but a lot smaller), or else you decide that is too costly to do and you just assume that what all taxpayers pay works out eventually.

    But this argument is both two faced and bogus.

    RH

  31. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “don’t confuse the method used to pay for government with the need to add new infrastructure “

    Fine, but let’s start by being honest about the method really used to pay for government, and what the minimum government capital plan should consist of.

    And while we are at it, let’s be honest about how much infrastructure spending is really infrastructure deficit spending.

    RH

  32. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “grid streets typically don’t go for for block after block with no traffic signals and people pulling out from inside the grids and crossing medians “

    We just visualize thei differently: see a grid as a continuous bunch of cut throughs and curb cuts. the “medians” are jsut really big and we call them blocks.

    A grid with a bunch of lights is just as nonnavigable as a big chaos ridden strip with crossovers, at least it seems that way to me.

    As for the traffic circle at gilberts corner, that was NOT designed for throughput.

    RH

    RH

  33. Larry G Avatar

    “…SUBSTANTIALLY subsidizes the rest of the voters. “

    nope. this is bullcrap.

    if you have actual numbers to show this.. please provide.

    otherwise. it’s plain ordinary, run-of-the-mill, bull …crap.

    In counties that are all rural – land is STILL taxed to pay for the government, schools, law enforcement, and other services.

    what gets “subsidized” in those cases – farmhouses?

  34. Larry G Avatar

    “Infrastructure still has to be built, but you can’t very well use up all your “free money” for decades, subsidizing others and then turn around and say, gee, suddenly we have no money to support this growth. It is simply a result of bad planning that means some people pay twice.”

    there never is any money that is taxed to pay for future growth.

    Never.

    the money collected pays for the infrastructure for the current residents.

    If you ever pass a law that requires counties to raise taxes on existing residents to pay for any amount of future growth.. those guys that passed the law are out of office at the next election.

    we do not tax people to pay for future growth.

  35. Larry G Avatar

    “Requiring no degradation in LOS and full payment for all new infrastructure through APF is pretty much akin to requirng no new pollution. It simply cannot be done. You may as well just be honest about what you are doing and say “no new building here”.”

    more bull crap.

    when it is required, as a condition of rezone approval, that infrastructure be provided…

    we get new infrastructure that maintains the LOS.

    So if a subdivision with 1000 homes pays for new schools and firehouses…then the LOS is maintained for everyone.

    comparing this to “no pollution’ is more of the same bizarre reasoning about the “right to pollute”.

    more whacko reasoning.

  36. Larry G Avatar

    "Either they want the developmet and want someone else to pay ALL of the costs – twice – while they cash in on whatever benefits doacrrue from development.

    OR

    They don't want the development and won't pay the costs of avoiding it. Placing the burden of opportunity cost losses and higher taxes on the backs of a minority."

    what they want Ray is what TMT said.

    they want development to pay it's fair share and not degrade the existing LOS.

    when development seeks to not pay it's fair share and seeks to actually degrade LOS and/or hold the existing citizens hostage to pay the additional costs –

    in a society with representative government – the developers are sent packing…

    people don't oppose development.

    they opposed development that degrades the community by not paying it's fair share of the infrastructure needed by new development.

    Folks with your views – LOSE .

    they lose over and over because a majority of people do not agree with the bizarre logic…about the "right to develop".

    there is o "right to develop".

    If you want to develop – then you need to provide for the initial infrastructure needs specifically to serve that new development.

    You cannot build a 1000 home subdivision and put the costs of the new school on folks who have already paid once for new schools for their neighborhood.

    Each new neighborhood will need a school ..just like it will needs libraries, fire&rescue and these costs belong to the new neighborhood.

  37. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “The argument that RH is using is the same one that the developers who are opposed to proffers and impact fees use and it’s been thoroughly discredited in virtually every area across the US”

    this is simply not true.

    It isn’t the same argument.
    And it has not been discreditied.

    The argument has been widely ignored acrss the US, with the result that more than 3000 jusrisdictions have some kind of growth restriction in place.

    The argument that larry and TMT make is politically popular, but it is not backed up by any facts – except that when you add people you degrade LOS.

    No one would argue against that part of the idea. So, how do we fairly go about outlawing people, because that is what is really happening.

    What happens when you have internal growth, like you have a young communty and suddenly all those children are driving cars?

    Despite what EMR says, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I recognize I’m stuck with the situation I have, as wrong as it is.

    I’m just telling you tat when I hear teh argument TMT and Larry make, to me it is weak, phony, self-serving, incomplete, and non-factual.

    It is also great political fodder, but it seems to me there is a strong possibility that it is not really what we should feed our communities wif we want the best combination of growth, amenities, and equality.

    If you don’t really care about growth or equality, then just be a man and say so. If what you really want is amenities someone else pays for, that is at least understandable.

    But this circular line of we don’t have any problem with growth as long as it doesn’t cost us anything, get in our way, or diminish our life in any manner, and doesn’t wreck any of the environment sounds to me pretty much like “No, go away.”

    RH

  38. Larry G Avatar

    “Fine, but let’s start by being honest about the method really used to pay for government, and what the minimum government capital plan should consist of.”

    we are honest about it.

    we divide the budget into two parts.

    the operational budget that everyone pays for including owners of vacant land.

    and the part of the budget called the CIP.

    You know what those words mean?

    Capital INVESTMENT Plan

    now what do you INVEST in Ray and what does that word actually mean in the context of collecting taxes from citizens to pay for “investments”.

    Investments are those things that:

    1. – will benefit the community

    2. – that the community agrees to pay for if additional taxes are required.

    You’re not going to raise taxes on people to pay for infrastructure for development.

    you might do it once.. but then you’re going to be finding new work because you won’t be an elected official any more.

    your “solution” to this is the same “solution” you advocate for the “right to pollute”.

    you are opposed to representative government to decide these issues.

    you want a King to impose on everyone .. the King’s view of who should pay for growth.

    so you argue the netherworld in between.

    but in the end.. what you advocate will not go forward as long as we have representative government.

    If that is not your solution – to do away with representative government when it comes to who pays for development…

    then how would you do this?

    and.. we don’t need a 1000-word tome on why we don’t measure correctly or any other rope-a-dope tactics that evade the central question.

    do you or do you not support representative government to decide these issues that affect ALL property owners?

    either you have a Democracy to decide these things or you have a King.

    Your choice please.

  39. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “and put the costs of the new school on folks who have already paid once for new schools for their neighborhood.”

    How much of that cost was paid for by the owners of empty land? As claimed by PEC, AFT, and county aofficials across the state? ?

    You CLAIM that the folks with kids in school already paid for it, but this simply isn’t true, at least not completely true. And the school they have may be inadequate, or the new one comes with more bells and whistles, so it costs a lot more, and it won’t be used ONLY by the newcomers.

    Probably the administration fo two schools is more than twice as much as for one, but we’ll stick that to the new folks as well.

    And this addresses only part of the cost side, it says nothing honest about the future benefits. those existing residents will sit there quietly and watch the value of their homes go up, their sales go up, then they will cash out and move to florida – thanks partly to the newcomers.

    What I’m trying to explain is that as soon as you make an unqualified claim like this, that clearly isn’t ccompletely correct, it blows the ENTIRE argument. It goes to credibility. As Mayor, my father would laugh you off the pages if you came to him with a proposal like this.

    Fortunately for your argument it is politically popular, and apparently, that is all that is required.

    As long as your government doesn’t care about truth, honesty or fairness.

    You just won’t ever convince me with this argument as long as I’m sending out the checks every six months, in addition to my regular taxes, and getting nothing back – ever.

    Pretty simple to me, cancel the EXTRA payments, or put it in as a down payment for the future – and then keep your future promises.

    RH

  40. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    A Democracy has an OBLIGATION to protect minorities. You cannot make an argument about what is good for ALL unless you consider the minorities and other losers in policies adopted on behalf of the many.

    Even a King understands that, but then it is a lot easier for a disgruntled minority to bump off the king than it is a Democracy.

    I don’t see why this is so hard to understand, unless you are ADMITTING that the purpose of Democracy is to allow and enable the majority to steal from others, which even you say no one has a right to do.

    RH

  41. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “the operational budget that everyone pays for including owners of vacant land.”

    But everybody DOESN’T pay for it. Even county officials say that residential services are paid for with money from farm land and vacant land that gets no services.

    The residential areas ar using money from vacant land that could be set aside for future services, so that they DON’T have to pay for their own CURRENT services.

    Your statement is simply false.

    What part of wrong is it that you don’t get?

    RH

  42. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    You tell me, what is a reasonable portion of the budget to go into the capital investment plan, and where does it come from.

    Then tell me what the operating budget is and tell me where it comes from. We freely admit (or at least claim) that “residential doesn’t pay” and then you turn right around and say it does: that “everyone pays the operational budget”.

    Which one is it?

    RH

  43. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “If that is not your solution – to do away with representative government when it comes to who pays for development…”

    Representtive government has an OBLIGATION to reperesent EVERYONE.

    That means you, you as a representative, cannot allow the majority to steal from the weak, just because they are a majority and your job depends on them.

    Actually, you can, of course, but then you would be a spineless, sniveling, dishonest, cheating, weakling, and I for one won’t vote for you.

    RH

  44. Larry G Avatar

    "Representtive government has an OBLIGATION to reperesent EVERYONE.

    That means you, you as a representative, cannot allow the majority to steal from the weak, just because they are a majority and your job depends on them."

    now Ray.. how do you do what you're saying in a representative government – for ANY issue that you'd want to address….

    whether it be pollution or development or taxes…

    how do you do this if it is not one man, one vote?

    are you saying that we need to have a king standing around making sure no one cheats in the one man – one vote government?

    you asked: "what is a reasonable level of growth"?

    If the growth is coming from within the community – population growth of that community – they will vote when they need new stuff…

    If the growth is coming from outside the community – a migration if you will – then the folks inside the community in most places are find as long as the new folks don't want the existing folks to pay for the things their homes need.

    By your argument..when someone moves in next door to me .. I am duty bound to build his well & septic and driveway because ..by your reasoning…someone paid for mine when I moved in .. and besides.. if I don't housing will be more expensive than it should.

    that's what you are saying.

    you have zero evidence that someone paid for the existing residents infrastructure.. you just say it.. and even if it were true.. it is not sustainable…

    you cannot keep raising taxes on existing property owners to pay for new growth.

    you like to use the word "stealing".

    that's what most folks think if you tax them to provide infrastructure for new growth.

    You can agree or disagree with them as to what is or is not "stealing" (and they with you) but from their point of view – at election time – they are going to vote out anyone who would tax them for new growth.

    Your view seems to be that this is not fair and that even in a representative government that there needs to be a "king-type" person to keep those folks from "stealing".

    The whole idea is totally cockamamie… and you know it.

    Representative government, as bad as you might think it is – is way, way better than having a king… no matter how you cut it..no matter how many dozens of posts and 1000-word tomes you prattle on and on about.

    Give me some evidence and give me a PRACTICAL solution to this instead of saying that everyone you disagree with about things like development, property rights, pollution, etc..

    .. all those folks are unethical thieves .. according to you.. and none of them are after fair and equitable approaches …

    … wise up fella..

    you be wrong.. and they only way you be right is if you got to be king ..in which case. your tenure would be measured in hours… before you were invited to the pearly kingdom..to rule..

    a "reasonable" approach to paying for growth is to look at the EXISTING levels of service – no matter what they are – good, bad or indifferent – and say that whenever someone moves in.. they have to pay their share of what it will take to serve their initial needs and NOT degrade the LOS.

    That's by the way.. the EXACT approach used in many states.

    they look at the existing LOS, they look at what the impact of new development will be on LOS and they charge the impact fees necessary to maintain the current LOS.

    If they want to improve the LOS – EVERYONE pays… but that's a separate and distinct issue that developers often throw into the discussion to confuse people.

    The truth of the matter is this.

    If you would let folks like TMT and his fellow citizens actually vote on this – they'd do EXACTLY what I'm suggesting and the only way this does not happen is if folks who represent them.. essentially sell them out to the developers…

    .. and if they do.. they'll get voted out.. and they know it…

    ..so they do this little dance..with community meetings… to try to convince the residents to accept things like TMT was alluding to… transferring the expense of recreational facilities to "others" ….like the "others" were not the same folks at these meetings.

    In the end – you have no King and no "king-like" arbiter of these issues.

    you must convince a majority of people of the correctness of your argument and if you cannot – you lose.

    that's the way it works guy.

    unless of course you like the way they do it better in countries that don't have representative government.

    big HINT – you won't convince many people to see your point of view when you start off calling them thieves and robbers….

  45. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Democracy and representative government has an obligation to represent everyone. They have an obligation to protect minorities.

    This really isn’t very dfficult. All you have to do is recognize when one party is being stolen from and stop it.

    Any proposal that is really for the public good has enough profit in it to make sure no one is worse off.

    This is simple stuff, and it is the published policy of the US government, and has been at least since Ronald Reagan.

    All of this is part of the law and policy of the US government, whether you choose to believe it or not. There is simply no expediency that justifies stealing by the majority.

    ““It’s not enough to say no to things anymore,” said Carl Zichella, a Sierra Club expert on renewable power. “We have to say yes to the right thing.””

    “We are learning and understanding the trade-offs between things, and they are hard,” said Pam Eaton, deputy vice president of the public lands campaign of the Wilderness Society….”

    —————————–

    I do not know where the policies lie at the state and local level, but my personal experience locally is that there are plenty of people and even officials who don’t mind trying attempted theft. I don’t see any concerted, systematic effort to act always in a manner tht is consistent, transparent, and fair.

    RH

  46. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “a “reasonable” approach to paying for growth is….- and say that whenever someone moves in.. they have to pay their share of what it will take to serve their initial needs and NOT degrade the LOS.”

    There is nothing whatsoever reasonable about this approach. These are major expenditures in many cases. What major expenditures do you know of that have to be paid for 100% up front?

    Without credit, how many cars will get sold?

    You might just as well come out and say, no, go away.

    RH

  47. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    "By your argument..when someone moves in next door to me .. I am duty bound to build his well & septic and driveway because"

    I never said or suggested anything ever remotely like that, and by suggesting that I did, you are close to making yourself a liar.

    Please don't do it.

    RH

  48. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    people don’t oppose development.

    Nonsense.

    I have sat in meetings with people who freely admit that they oppose development, and that their goal is to slam the door behind themselves.

    There are such people and they do oppose development.

    I don’t mind if they oppose development, I only oppse when they do it at someone else’s expense.

    It is OK if they slam the door behind them as long as they own the door. But if they expect me to own the door for them, just so they can slam it in my face, then I have a problem.

    You have the right to have absolutely nothing next door to you. All you have to do is buy it and tear it down.

    You find a nice lot With nothing next door. You build on the lot. later the guy next door wants to build and you say, hey ,you can’t do that, you will degrade my LOS.

    Sorry, does not compute.

    Your LOS degraded the previous guy, just the same, except in this case the previous guy isn’t there yet, because there was nothing next door.

    You had infinite LOS because you were first. Now you want to claim ownership of infinite LOS by claiming infinite property rights.
    But your increment of LOS degrades yous just as much as your degrades his. if you werent; there, there would be no net loss in LOS, same as if he wasn’t there.

    If there is no right to develop, then you don’t have it any more than he did.

    You claim “no right to develop”, same as you claim “no right to pollute”, and by the same twisted, perverted, incorrect and selfish line of reasoning: I got here first, I have a bigger gang than you, this is my turf, and you are an idiot if you believe in property rights.

    What was that you said about “my turf”? Where is your bill of sale?

    Well you moron, there is no billf sale for LOS

    Precisely, that is why we need more and better property rights, then we wouldn’t have that problem about who paid for what LOS.

    RH

  49. Larry G Avatar

    “These are major expenditures in many cases. What major expenditures do you know of that have to be paid for 100% up front?”

    how about schools, roads, fire-houses, cop cars, school buses, libraries, ball fields?

    are you saying that builders that build these things don’t get their money “up-front”?

    where do you think that money comes from?

    A new school can easily cost 50 million dollars…

    who do you think should pay for it?

    what if you have build one or two or three of these per year?

    do you keep going back and raising taxes to pay for them?

    at what point do the folks who are raising taxes get tossed out of office?

    when they get voted out of office.. do you sue because the “minorities” were not protected when the newly elected say “no more tax increases”?

    At that point do you show up at the hearings and call them liars and thieves?

    I keep asking you.

    what is a fair way to do this?

    and you just yammer … not yet have you given a single practical way to accomplish this without raising taxes and having the elected officials thrown out.

    Would you … make it illegal to throw out the guys who raised taxes for growth?

    how would you do this?

    Here’s one HINT –

    go look up UDAs.

    UDAs actually REQUIRE a locality to designate one or more areas that will allow for 10 years worth of growth.

    is this the right way?

  50. Groveton Avatar

    You guys are slaying me…

    You want people to pay for what they use. OK, although I think that will be harder than it seems. LarryG thinks government should fairly allocate initial infrastructure costs to those who build. RH wants the government in the credit business.

    All of which is OK except …

    The government in Virginia is almost totally dominated by the state legislature under the strict implementation of Dillon’s Rule.

    And the state legislature is comprised of 140 very part time employees who supposedly oversee a $34B / year budget by being in session for 51 days a year.

    51 days a year. You two guys spend 51 days a year reading and posting on BaconsRebellion.

    51 days a year. That’s not full time or 3/4 time or 1/2 time or even 1/4 time. That’s 1/5 time.

    Neither of you will ever get what you want under the present governance structure. Never.

    If you really want to see these kinds of improvements in government you have to either:

    a) Formally distribute some of the decision making authority to the localities via dillution of Dillon’s Rule in the Virginia constitution.

    b) Demand that Virginia’s 140 legislators dedicate all of their time to governance just like the 535 members of the US Senate and US House of Representatives.

    The present structure of government in Virginia is far, far too weak to implement the changes you are discussing. Please note – I wrote that the structure is too weak not that the elected officials are too weak.

    EMR isn’t right about everything (nobody is) but he’s always been on the right track with his hierarchy of governance.

  51. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I’ve always thought that Virginia was governed by the will of the Richmond lobbyists and that our elected representatives traveled to Richmond to pay homage to the lobbyists. Then they come home, wring their hands, and cry that there’s nothing to be done.

    Of course, the local clowns, err, elected officials, also pay homage to the same lobbyists, but don’t need to travel to Richmond. They still wring their hands and cry that there’s nothing to be done.

    TMT

  52. Larry G Avatar

    I’m not really after anything because we essentially already have it – not “official” home-rule or impact fees but a de-facto system.

    …. despite the Dillon Rule but the development guys are constantly in Richmond seeking to outlaw proffers and impact fees using the same arguments that Ray uses.

    If they succeed (and they might), they lose anyhow, because then many localities will just remove all by-right uses and require a rezoning and special-use permit and while the law requires that they process all development proposals – the law does not require them to approve such proposals.

    You say this can’t happen?

    look at Facquier County where Ray lives.

    You want to spread this?

    Just make proffers illegal and see what happens.

    we’ll create a bunch more Facquier’s.

    The whole argument about “restricting” growth is ludicrous on it’s face if you look at the EXISTING long-ago, approved growth all around you…

    Here we have folks running around yammering about property rights and Fairfax looks like a development bomb was detonated in the center of it.

    And… across NoVa and Va, one would be hard-pressed to find a locality other than Facquier that has successfully and effectively “stopped growth”.

    The 3202 UDA rule requiring localities to designate areas sufficient to accommodate 10 years worth of growth – is interesting.

    Interesting enough that I’m surprised that the property rights folks AND the settlement pattern folks like EMR have had little to say about it.

    Is it good, bad, indifferent?

    If we wanted to change it – what changes would we want to do?

    Goochland County for instance, is opposed to the 4-unit per acre density requirement and is asking the GA to do away with that and replace it with a phrase that says that UDA only require areas that have TWICE the density of the rural areas.

    My understanding is that the Smart Growth folks liked this but it also sounds a lot like what the developers would want also.

    The rub from it comes to the property rights folks in that they think that the entire county should be open to growth and that it’s wrong, unfair for the county to actually DESIGNATE where growth will occur.

    My view has been and continues to be – that the key to doing away with the opposition to growth – is the have a process that insures that the LOS is not degraded beyond what the existing residents already have.

    It’s when development occurs that degrades the quality of life of citizens that they become opposed to it.. and then at election time.. they elect folks who will represent them.

    What has happened in Loudoun is a classic example.

    and Loudoun is not the only county that has seen supervisors tossed over the growth issue.

    Spotsylvania and Stafford tossed BOS over this issue also.

    Unless the developers are going to get a law passed that says you can’t throw a BOS out of office.. voters will continue to throw out anyone who raises taxes to pay for growth.

    So.. I don’t really want anything… as the issue is self-balancing for the most part.

  53. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “the key to doing away with the opposition to growth – is the have a process that insures that the LOS is not degraded beyond what the existing residents already have.”

    And my point is that

    a) this is fundamentally impossible to do. it is the equivalent of claiming we will allow growth as long as there is no pollution associated with it. It just cannot happen and it is an unrealistic requirement from the get go.

    b) To the extent it is possible it is so expensive that the costs cannot be focused on a small group, which in any case isn’t the sole cause of growth, or the sole cause for new infrastrucure, or the sole user of new infrastructure, or the sole beneficiary of growth, and neither should they be the sole contibutors to the capital improbvements fund which has been ignored, delayed, and underfunded for decades for the specific purpose of PREVENTING GROWTH.

    and

    c)That isn’t the problem. It isn’t going to work. People do not want new naighbors, period. some of themn will do or say most anything to protect their own interests and their own property at the expense of others, who are generally in a minority. For them, no amount of money will be sufficient to remove the opposition to growth.

    ————————–

    This would be easy to prove. Just put a really high price on impact fees, and then throw the door open to anyone who will pay them. I guearnatee people will still show up at the hearings to protest.

    ————————–

    Government has a responsibility to protect the minority. Not to guarantee them huge profits, not to give them freebies, but to protect their legitimate interests to the same extent as the majority.

    ——————————–

    The only way I can see this inequality is going to get resolved is when people are told that, and understand that, the people next foor have rights – even if they are not next door, yet.

    This was the intent of proposition 37 in Oregon: to halt a statewide imposition of clumsy and rigid land use regulations from being imposed retroactively. Not to prevent them from happening, but to prevent them from being retroactive and to make them pay their own way.

    (One reason this was overturned, ultimately, was the pay as you go provision which land use activists thought was highly unfair – just like the payas you go provisions for infrastructure. Funny how the same kinds of people have a different vison of what is fair when a simila policy is applied against them or for them.)

    Existing residents need to be told that when they buy, and if necessary it needs to be written ito their deeds: You may not object to the next deed. The next guy gets the same rights you have, unless you want to buy them out.

    Some places already do similar things: the right to farm laws are designed to keep newcomers from coming in and claimin new right that never existed before “no night time farming”, etc.

    Some places even make new residents sign an affidavit stating that they recognize and respect certain local activities and customs.

    So If you are told before you buy, that your neighbor engages in hunting, you are warned that hunting complaints will be viewed dimly, well, you may take that into consideration in the price you are willing to pay.

    But, if you have a big empty field next to you, and the government then, or later, allows you to effectively claim control over it, to keep “your” LOS constant, then why wouldn’t you do that?

    That is why the governemtn has an obligation to protect minorites.

    RH

  54. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “The argument that owners of undeveloped land have already paid taxes for infrastructure is BS in most cases.”

    Well, try telling that to the PEC and their supporters. For DECADES they have been telling anyone who will listen that open space pays money for services they don’t get.

    You can claim that they are not technically paying for infrastructure and you would be correct, but it would still be BS.

    Being in a minority, they don’t have control over how their money is spent. The majority has chosen to spend it keeping THEIR operating costs low.

    They could have paid their own operating costs and put the free money from taxes on land that gets no services into the CIP plan.

    But if they did that, they would have no way to prevent growth, and they would hae to stop stealing from their minority neighbors.

    Using BS to argue BS doesn’t buy you anything.

    The FACTS are that someone has owened vacant land for decades and that land itself has provided valuable amenities and services to the surrounding neighbors, for free all that time. On top of that it has paid taxes all that time for which it has got NOTHING in return. And then someone wants to do something with it, eventuallly and you willsay to him that he has NO RIGHTS to anything he has been paying EXTRA for all these year?

    Now that is BS.

    This isn;t a question of whether development fees should be assessed, really. I don’t have a problem with that. but what I want to see is a full accounting of how existing infrastructure deficits are going to be paid, and how credit for taxes previously paid gratuitously will be credited against the impact fees.

    Then you can convince me you have a fair system,that isn’t simply desinged to screw your existing undeveloped neighbors and keep the new neighbors out.

    For example, suppose you have existing unpaid debt on existing infrastructure (You know, the stuff “you paid for”). How do you propose to insulate the new residents form paying against that debt on your behalf? or do they pay that AND pay full costs for their own?

    ————————

    And then, after you come up with a plan that is both fair, and that requires them to pay full costs for all their infrastructure, then, explain to me how you will remove all the OTHER barriers to growth, since you claim is that cost and services are the only impediments, the only reasons people object to growth.

    RH

  55. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “RH wants the government in the credit business.”

    Not really, I just object to the false idea that landowners have not paid for anything all their lives and anything they do get is a windfall gift from their neighbors, who are kind enough to back off from THEIR impositions if only the landowners will pay them enough more for their troubles.

    These poeple want a fair accounting, and I say, fair enough, lets have one.

    RH

  56. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    seeking to outlaw proffers and impact fees using the same arguments that Ray uses.

    I have no desire to outlaw impact fees. I do think proffers are little more than legalized extortion, presented as if they were bribes.

    But if were are to have fees they should be fair, transparent and predictable. The arguments these guys present are unfair, because they ignore pertinent facts, they are not transparent because there is no accounting that supports them, and they are not predictable, because even if youpaid whatever they asked the answer would still likely be NO.

    What you wind up with is not a development fee, but a fee you pay for permission to ask and be turned down.

    RH

  57. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “yet have you given a single practical way to accomplish this without raising taxes and having the elected officials thrown out.

    Would you … make it illegal to throw out the guys who raised taxes for growth?

    how would you do this?”

    Actually, I expect them to get thrown out. And I expect the next guy to get hired to do the same thing tell the voters “I’m here to represent you, – and everyone else equally”

    And then I expect him to get thrown out.

    Kind of a slow motion scene like the one in “Ghandi” at the salt mine, where thousands of people got clubbed over the head, one at at time, until the “authoirites” juat gave up.

    But my plan only sacrifices 4 people over 15 years. Surely in this great state we can find 8 upstanding people to run for office against each other, who are smart and ethical enough to recognize ALL of their responsibilites.

    Put another way,as soon as I figure out my guy DOESN’t think that way, I’m voting against him, and telling him why.

    They have a resposnibility, votoers or no voters they cannot shirk that responsibility, and if they do they may be breaking the law.

    RH

  58. Larry G Avatar

    “a) this is fundamentally impossible to do. it is the equivalent of claiming we will allow growth as long as there is no pollution associated with it. It just cannot happen and it is an unrealistic requirement from the get go.”

    we know this is false – patently so.

    We have pollution.

    the issue is not – “no pollution”

    the issue is “how much”.

    it’s the same with growth and development.

    There is no such thing as “no development”.

    It’s ALWAYS about how much and what impacts it has – and how to mitigate them and who pays to do it.

  59. Larry G Avatar

    “People do not want new naighbors, period.”

    tell that the million plus people in Fairfax…

    I think you need treatment for chronic blather.

    why can you not at the least deal with the obvious realities guy?

  60. Larry G Avatar

    “Government has a responsibility to protect the minority. “

    which according to you is the folks who lose in the elections…

    news flash – RH

    if a law applies to EVERYONE – then there are no minorities.

    your basic argument is that if you disagree with the law – that you are a minority…

    well…DUH….

    what do you suggest that we do for folks who lose elections since they will be in the minority?

    Methinks you are totally messed up in this regard.

    If the GA passes a law and you don’t like it.. and the majority of people do like it..what exactly is the remedy?

    are you still looking for that King?

  61. Larry G Avatar

    “The only way I can see this inequality is going to get resolved is when people are told that, and understand that, the people next foor have rights – even if they are not next door, yet”

    People know this Ray.

    Look at the one million plus people in Fairfax that had someone move in next door to them.

    They’re not opposed until they find out that the new folks are going to use their parking lot… then they are opposed.

    If the new folks have their own parking lot and they pay for it.. there’s not a problem.

  62. Larry G Avatar

    “Not really, I just object to the false idea that landowners have not paid for anything all their lives “

    I’ve never hear anyone say that – except for the property right advocates.

    MOST landowners do not.

    Paying taxes on your land does not entitle you to anything in the way of future development rights – none.

    If you think you are paying too much in taxes for your land – that’s an issue with your elected but in no way, shape or form…does it entitle you to future development rights.

  63. Larry G Avatar

    ” …because they ignore pertinent facts, they are not transparent because there is no accounting that supports them, and they are not predictable, because even if youpaid whatever they asked the answer would still likely be NO.”

    why can you not tell the truth RH?

    Virtually all the counties that charge proffers – have a well-documented fee schedule and the analysis behind the charges.

    Paying the proffers – alone – does not get you your development because your proposal has to meet the other …well documented regulations and ordinances…

    but look around NoVa and the rest of VA… and show me how… we have systematically “stopped growth” by doing what you claim ….

    the facts do not support what you are saying…

  64. Larry G Avatar

    re: throwing folks out of office

    …..is not the same as voting against someone in a system where one man has one vote…

    their “responsibility” is to represent the folks who will throw them out if they don’t represent them….

    You should by all means vote against them… and by all means convince as many of your fellow voters of the correctness of your views with respect to property rights….

    but you cannot impose on others what you think is right.. and you’ll make even less headway if you characterize those that don’t agree with you as liars and thieves.

    Liars and thieves – by the way is what a lot of property owners think about those that want infrastructure provided to them from other taxpayers…

    Ask TMT.

    he thinks that landowners who want to develop their land and don’t want to pay their fair share of infrastructure – thieves.

    and if enough folks think like TMT – guess who gets the “thief” label?

    Of course..characterizing the folks who are pushing Tysons as poor oppressed minorities who should be “protected” by the government … will for sure bring the snickers to many of us…

  65. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “—we’ll create a bunch more Fauquier’s.”

    But the growth will have to go someplace, just as pollution has to go someplace.

    So the growth will go to Tysons and other TOD’s, allegedly, which is just what some people want to plan for. Whether the market will support it is something else.

    You will wind up with more Fauquier like places and more places that are densely populated. The “More Places” strategy wins.

    Then what?

    On one hand you have made whoever owns property in the places designated for growth very wealthy.

    On the other hand you have made the opportunity to live anyplace else very rare, and hence very expensive.

    The big (wealthy) landowners get what they want, no neighbors and more valuable property, and everyone else gets 1/4 acre lots or less and plenty of neighbors.

    The big developers get to make a lot of money on a little bit of land.

    The idea of more Fauquier like places and more Tyson’s like places might not be a idea. I just think it will create big (short term) winners and big losers, and the losers are not going to be compensated by the winners.

    I’d like to see better explanations before we turn the master planners loose on our pocketbooks.

    RH

  66. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    their “responsibility” is to represent the folks who will throw them out if they don’t represent them….

    Wrong.

    Pragmatically speaking, they have to do what the people who paid for their election want done.

    Legally, they have an obligation to represent everyone equally. They are not electeed to represent ONLY the favorable part of the electorate. The electorate DOES elect them to represent everyone in their district.

    Sometimes he may need the spine to explain that to people who think they own him.

    It is one of those situations where proeprty rights have not been adequately defined.

    RH

  67. Larry G Avatar

    “But the growth will have to go someplace, just as pollution has to go someplace. “

    more blather.

    neither will “go” wherever they want in any concentration desired.

    In each case – there will be tradeoffs that will be decided by their impacts and not by the developers.

    So.. with your example.. Tysons could be anything from 100 townhouses to 50 …100 floor skyscrapers… no matter the impacts….

    and what the issue always is.. is what are the impacts of a proposal …

    does it adversely affect the people and properties around it and if so.. is it acceptable or not ( according to the folks it impacts – not according to the folks who propose it).

    so.. the poor oppressed minority property owners in Tysons.. with your approach … have carte Blanche because “growth has to go somewhere”.

    so.. in other words.. whether someone wants to put 100 people in Tysons or 10,000 people in Tysons… because “growth has to go somewhere”… it’s not an issue?

    more property rights blather guy…

    growth has to go somewhere…therefore any amount of growth anywhere is the rule…

    unless of course the King says otherwise…

  68. Larry G Avatar

    “Pragmatically speaking, they have to do what the people who paid for their election want done.

    Legally, they have an obligation to represent everyone equally. They are not electeed to represent ONLY the favorable part of the electorate. “

    How does this work in Tysons?

    who are the folks who paid and who are the “favorable” ?

  69. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “he thinks that landowners who want to develop their land and don’t want to pay their fair share of infrastructure – thieves.”

    And I agree with him.

    What you still fail to understand about my argument is that it is ENTIRELY bipolar. It is EQUALLY opposed to one position as the other because the only way that either side can NOT be thieves and liars is when they stop working to their OWN advantage and agree to work for the most and highest COMMON advantage.

    In order for that to happen you first have to agree that you both want the same thing, and then you have to agree on how to look for it.

    As soon as you do that phrases like

    “The argument that owners of undeveloped land have already paid taxes for infrastructure is BS in most cases.”

    go away because they are patently unacceptable to the process. One side would have to accept the idea that new people need new infrastructure which needs to be paid for, and the other idea would have to accept the idea that landowners HAVE been paying.

    These ideas are not subject to argument because they are both legitimate parts of the picture. The amount of money involved is subject to discovery, but the ideas are not really subject to dispute.

    Now remember, we have already agreed on the ground rules as to how to look for the “best answer”, so we already know what is allowable in discovery of costs and what isn’t.

    All you have to do is follow the process until you come up with the numbers, whatever they are: 60% or 70% or 80% of new infrastructure costs are fairly allocable to new residents.

    Then I don’t have a problem.

    But people like you are not interested in the best answer, they want to win. They want a superior position. I have determined theocratically that the answer has to be 100%, or I won’t play.

    By definition that can ONLY happen at someone else’s expense and that makes them thieves and probably liars. (Unless 100% turns out to be the right answer, which is far from likely.)

    The other way to look at this is the traditional way. We all lobby for our own best interests, and if you have faith in democracy it will average out for the best of everyone.

    And it will, but only if everyone has equal responsibilities and equal rights.

    Your position isn’t even that egalitarian as far as I can see. your position is that if you are the majority then you have the right, not only to steal, but to decide what other people’s rights are (which is to say, none).

    Government has an obligation to protect the minority. It is written in the law, and we just spent 100 years of civil rights struggle to do so.

    And yes, if you insist on making the point, government also has to “protect” the majority. But that usually isn’t a problem, and protect does not mean provide advantage to.

    —————————

    With regard to Tysons. TMT thinks the minority (developers) have power because they have money. This pretty much destroys your idea that the majority rule. He thinks the system is corrupt.

    i think the problem is that we do not have a fully defined and protected system of property rights. It is just as you pointed out, there is no deed for LOS, and as I have tried to point out, that’s a problem.

    You can’t claim that you paid for LOS and newcomers didn’t if you don’t have a deed. On the other hand if I’m paying for services I’m not getting, as my Supervisors insist, then someplace in the system I should have some credits that I can use to buy deeds for LOS.

    I don’t know what happens to the people who have been getting services from my credits all these years, but maybe you subtract service credits from the LOS they think they have paid for.

    I don’t claim to have any answers, just an approach to find them. It depends on full and fair cost accounting which means pretty near anything with a name has a deed that someone paid for (or recieved by right, like the right to have clean air and the right to use air, the right to have clean water and the right to use water.)

    EMR thinks full and fair cost accounting should be HIS acconting and that it shoue include locational discounts. I’d settle for full and fair for now,and if we ever solve that we can eventually add location as part of costs. For now we had better stick to gross averages, and when we agree to those,we can start refning the process.

    Then, Larry’s argument as to whether I use more than I pay for falls apart pretty quick. Divide the county budget by the number of people to get X services per person. Alfred and his family of four live in an apartment and pay 0.4X, xtotal. My wife and I on the farm pay 4X total. Or 3X, whatever.

    The county decides to allow 600 units this year, and there are 60,000 people, then each person gets 0.001 building right which he can sit on or sell, for whatever the developers will pay.

    That is the end of that argument. No reasonable person can disagree with that result, so far as it goes. It is pure math.

    Now Larry can present an objestion, as he is WONT to do, and if he can back it up we add it to the transparent, predictable fish bowl of calculations.

    ————————

    So what happens under my plan, as far as TMT is concerned? Well, the rich have a lot of money, but in the aggregate the rest of us have more. One reason that house on ten acres doesn’t cost anything close to ten times the same house on one acre (besides the price of the additional houses) is that one guy cannot compete with ten lesser guys for the same property.

    He hasn’t got that much money. So, if all the people in Tysons/Vienna had properly defined property rights those big deelopers would find themselves in a bind, or as Larry points out, the majority would rule.

    They still don’t have any right to take away whatever property rights the builders have. And the builders could go buy additional rights from anyone that had them and could care less what happens to Tysons.

    The people in Tyson’s could not claim that they were being gypped, because they voluntarily sold those rights. This would mean that Larry could not ARBITRARILY claim a majority that doesn’t really exist: you would have a referendum in the market.

    My plan or philosophy closes both economically and ethically. No one can claim to be cheated who voluntarily entered a deal, that wasn’t rigged. No one can claim what is not theirs, and anyone can sell what is theirs.

    The only people who would not want that system must be thieves, who think they can can an “undue advantage” by getting a system passed that favors themselves more than others.

    That’s why I call them thieves.

    Larry is going to go around and around on this, never recognizing what the problem is. he always starts with some property claim like “LOS we paid for”, while denying that it is a property rights issue and that what he really wants is either a superior claim, a more expensive or valuable claim, a pre-existing claim, or one based on power. And any way you cut it, it means stealing or taking advantage from someone.

    All I want is equal, efficient, fair, and clean. We have decided to allow 600 homes this year, here is your 1/100th of a building right. No reasonable person would complain about 1% growth, right?

    Economy, Equality, Environment.

    RH

  70. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    neither will “go” wherever they want in any concentration desired.

    You really are dreaming.

    Babies and pollution happen and they WILL go somewhere.

    Whether you ALLOW it or not. I don’t think anybody ALLOWED the slums in Mumbai or Sao Paulo.

    You can control and direct some things, to some extent, but you are going to have to pay the costs.

    I don’t think you want to put $100 in an account that pays you $90 back. And you cannot order someone to put $100 in an acocunt that pays $90 back —not even if you are the majority–

    unless you are a thief.

    RH

  71. Larry G Avatar

    “But people like you are not interested in the best answer, they want to win. They want a superior position.”

    That’s certainly not true and saying it – presumes bad faith… not going to get you points in listening to the rest of your ideas.

    “By definition that can ONLY happen at someone else’s expense and that makes them thieves and probably liars.”

    Only if you start out assuming the “by definition” part which you are totally incorrect on to start with. I disagree with your starting premise – from the get go.

    so you start off with false premises.. then call the others who don’t buy your false premises -thieves and liars…

    good start..

    “The other way to look at this is the traditional way. We all lobby for our own best interests, and if you have faith in democracy it will average out for the best of everyone.”

    … you mean where you do away with trying to convince each other and the majority of thieves and liars just gets on with oppressing the minority?

    … is that what we did when we elected Obama and Webb and Warner…board of supervisors.. our GA guys in Richmond…????

    … when we voted – we oppressed the minority?

    is it true..that whenever we decide these issues by one man/one vote that the losers will always be the “oppressed minority”?

    so.. by definition ..if the citizens of Tysons vote against the property owners of the land that they want to develop.. then those developers become the latest victims of “oppressed minorities”.

    are you sure you’re using this term the way it should be used Ray?

    it sounds a little funky to me…

    I guess you might be right.. I voted against Bush and I sure as heck felt like an oppressed minority afterwards…for eight long years.

    “only if everyone has equal responsibilities and equal rights.”

    another jewel of wisdom here.

    who..exactly decides what is ‘equal’…

    let me guess… it’s either you or your property rights allies or a suitable king but certainly not the thieves and liars on the opposing side – right?

    “Your position isn’t even that egalitarian as far as I can see. your position is that if you are the majority then you have the right, not only to steal, but to decide what other people’s rights are (which is to say, none).”

    My position is that when it comes to things like pollution and property rights.

    That means that each property owner has the right to deny any other property owners whose activities will adversely impact them – without their permission.

    there is no “right” to do this..whether it be with property or pollution…

    no one has the right to adversely impact others – without their permission.

    .. and if a majority of property owners agree with this basic concept… that no individual property owner is entitled do anything that affects others …without their permission..

    and that’s essentially how of laws work with regard to pollution and property development – with notable exceptions – that usually result in even more strict laws…

    then that’s how we do business… because a majority of property owners agreed that that was the most fair way ..for everyone – because in order to restrict others.. we have to accept the same restrictions ourselves.

    that’s the basis of “equal”… it applies to everyone…

    that’s the basis of the laws that say.. you cannot pass any law that does not apply to everyone. That’s what is meant by not oppressing the minorities Ray… not that you lost in a vote.

    A majority of us AGREE to have the restrictions placed on ourselves so that, in turn, we can be protected from others….

    it’s an essential bargain…

    you cannot “steal” and lie to yourself.

    You know that when you vote for restrictions on other landowners that they ALSO apply to YOU.

    If you put that proposition to ALL Landowners and a majority of them accept it – then it becomes the law.

    If you think this is wrong.. you’re entitled .. but people don’t vote to restrict others thinking it does not apply to them also.

  72. Larry G Avatar

    “Babies and pollution happen and they WILL go somewhere.”

    but they don’t go where they want.

    the fact that there has to be pollution… does not mean…that the guy who is polluting can …pollute.. much less do as much of it as he wants.

    do you really think that because pollution must exist that it means than any and all of it can be put wherever someone wants it?

  73. Larry G Avatar

    the idea that we cannot have civilization with some level of pollution…

    DOES NOT TRANSLATE

    to the right of individuals to decide what pollution is acceptable …. what can be polluted.. what kinds.. what concentrations and where it can be placed.

    I think this is the major disconnect in this debate.

    You’ll admit it when pushed hard… but then in subsequent thread.. you’ll turn right around and assert it all over again.. as if your prior admission that your assertion was wrong – never happened…

    I agree – civilization cannot exit without pollution.

    Now – you AGREE that individual landowners do not have the “right” to pollute.

    and we’ll be right as rain…

  74. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    We ara abut to see Larry’s theory of management by majority in action. Momentum is building against the cap and trade plan part of the budget.

    Some people seem to have realized there are fundamental tradeoffs to be made between clean energy, sustinability, energy independence, and affordability.

    These guys will support the plan that gets them the most votes in their district, not what gets the lowest costs withth greatest benefits. They won’t even look for that answer.

    I may have to eat my hat. Larry will be right. The majority will rule and we will get the pollution levels we want and demand.

    RH

  75. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “I think cap-and-trade is the best way, from my perspective, to achieve some of those gains, because what it does is it starts pricing the pollution that’s being sent into the atmosphere.”

    POTUS

  76. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “You know that when you vote for restrictions on other landowners that they ALSO apply to YOU.”

    You mean like after you built your house and before they built theirs?

    We can’t have nay new houses because they create pollution and congestion and affect my way of life.

    RH

  77. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “I agree – civilization cannot exit without pollution.

    Now – you AGREE that individual landowners do not have the “right” to pollute.”

    WHAAATT???

    Who do you think “owns” the civilization? We do. We can’t exist without EITHER civilization OR pollution.

    So, you admit that civilization cannot exist without pollution.

    You agree that whatever restrictions we pass apply to ourselves equally. (Unless we got there first, apparently, then there is no need for compensation.)

    All I’m suggesting is that if the restrictions apply equally then whatever remains is also ours equally. It is simple subtraction.

    If it is ours, then we have the right to sell it, just as the president suggests. And we sell it to the highest bidder: theone that can make the most profit from our allotment of pollution, because that is what is best for civilization, which cannot exist without “our” pollution. Whatever that allotment is.

    But what is going to happen is that it won’t be ours to sell, the bigwigs will get it all, and we will get only to pay.

    It’s an outrage.

    RH

  78. Larry G Avatar

    “We can’t have nay new houses because they create pollution and congestion and affect my way of life.”

    yup – that’s clearly a big problem in Fairfax/NoVa.

    All the vast parcels of vacant land that NIMBY’s “stopped”…

    let’s see…

    Fairfax apparently is “stunted” because NIMBY’s shut down development.

    Apparently all of Fairfax will need the Tysons treatment to catch up from the bad old days of anti-growth NIMBYISM…

    and the beltway.. gawd omighty… we could get some REAL USE out of if we had enough traffic to fill it….

    Ray.. you’re a stitch…

    some day I’d like a tour of the places that NIMBY’s rule in NoVa.

  79. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I built my fairfax home in 1989.

    Had I waited another year I would have been forbidden and I would now be the proud owner of a forever vacant lot.

    I’d be out a half million dollars, and Fairfax would have gained what, less congestion? Cleaner water?

    When I wanted to build in Fauquier, I got shut out by a matter of weeks. One day I had building rights, and the next I didn’t. Partly because I was given bad advice by county officials. It is really a sad thing when you cannot trust the written word of your own government.

    That little screw job cost me $10,000 I had already spent on the project. I raised such a stink about it that the county website now advises you to hire a lawyer before doing business with the county.

    It is not a joke, Larry. I know the same thing happened to you, and so far, you don’t seem to care. Someday, you might wish you had the money, or a lot for you grandchild.

    I got halfway lucky: I could have been cut out twice. For some other guy that gets cut out of a half million, it could be a life altering experience: a financial mess he could never recover from.

    Around the time Fauquier broke previous written promises, stiffed me (and quite a few others) I spent two years flat on my back, completely diabled. Money was a real issue, and what they took from me would have made a real difference.

    I had plenty of time to fanatsize about what I would do with certain people if I got granted ten minutes alone with them, and I’m a mild mannered guy.

    If it is really all that damn impoprtant to prevent growth then either the neighbors or the county can buy the property, and let them bear the expense of holding it.

    But, to simply order your neighbor to hold his property, and continue to pay taxes on it, so you can keep “your” LOS is just wrong.

    You will never, ever, convince me otherwise, because I have been too close to that beast. You may as well save your breath.

    And if you think I feel strongly about this, yous should hear wht my wife has to say.

    I have it on good authority from professionals in the business that she isn’t alone, far from it.

    But, just as you say, all those people are still outnumbered – by people who haven’t lost anything. People who haven’t the common courtesy or imagination to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and wouldn’t dream of paying for a broken social contract. Not if they can get away with legal stealing.

    What’s even worse is that all this happened because some jackass popularized the phrase “We gotta stop all these big developers.”

    The only people who got stopped were the little guys. All those horrendous developments you see are the RESULT of rules we put in place to stop growth.

    And I’ve seen this happen before, on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve seen what happened to old established landowners there, what happened to my brother there. He went from three lots to one through a series of seemingly innocuous rule changes. Now because of the shape of the lot or a lack of another 500 sq ft, he might lose that. And on MV you are talking real money.

    There is simply no way to characterize it but stealing.

    Please excuse me while I go retch.

    ————————-

    Your comments about how “uncrowded” Fairfax is just proves my point that it is IMPOSSIBLE to retain LOS and lifestyle with more development. it would take collossal amounts of money, for rods and transit both, to maintain LOS in all of Fairfax. More money than all the newcomers ever though of having. You would have to tear down a third of the homes just to put in the transportation sytem.

    Or

    It supports EMR’s comments about how expensive it is to support scattered development. If Fairfax really wanted to maintain LOS they could have taken a lot of those lots out of service – by buying them. So, the tax rate goes up because you allow development, it goes up because you don’t allow development, but you treat the landowners fairly, or it goes up stratospherically ONLY for the new residents.

    Or, you can be like Fauquier. You can cheat and lie to the landowners, lie to the residential populace about your intentions, goals, and lie about the financial facts of county life and STILL watch your taxes go up.

    Yes, you are right, Fairfax went ahead and put up houses, AND A LOT OF BUSINESSES and they got the congestion and pollution. F’burg just got the spillover.

    Now imagine what F’burg would be like if Fairfax had acted like Fauquier.

    You just proved my point. Grwoth has to go somehwere, babies have to go somewhere, unemplyed people from Detroit have to go somewhere, pollution has to go somewhere.

    You had bettter make places for them. Somebody already owns those places, so don;t come crying to me because they (finally) made a “windfall”.

    Yeah, I’m a stitch, sometimes I break myself up. You should see me at the public meetings.

    RH

  80. Larry G Avatar

    so…I’m really confused now.

    Are you saying that Fairfax allowed …too much development?

    that they approved development without requiring enough proffers to pay for the infrastructure?

    now.. that sounds a lot like what TMT has been saying…

    but EMR.. isn’t he saying that Fairfax is not dense enough…that it needs to be denser if it is to be voted into the Settlement Pattern Hall of Fame instead of the Settlement Pattern Deck Chair rearranging regatta?

    I try hard to reconcile what TMT is saying with what you are saying.. especially when you agree with TMT …but then you say stuff like NIMBY’s stopping growth.. you know..like TMT is fighting the growth proposed for his area…

    So geeze Ray.. which is it?

    Do you support TMT’s fight against the Tysons property owners and their “right” to develop that property without having the thieves and liars steal from them using the old “proffer” trick?

    or do you support the oppressed Tyson property owners who can’t catch a break since they are a minority?

    very confusing…

    sometimes in BR.. it feels like that scene in STAR WARS .. you know the BAR SCENE full of very different species of critters.. all bellying up to the bar.. drinking their favorite brew.. which would surely kill the other critters if they were served that brew….

    whew…

  81. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Are you saying that Fairfax allowed …too much development?”

    I am saying, and have said, that more development requires more complex infrastructure, and that costs a LOT more. More even than you save by having a more compact infrastructure, as EMR claims.

    I am claiming that it is SO expensive, beyond a certain point, that no amount of proffers levied against a smll part of the population can pay for it all.

    I’m claiming tht this means that the notion that previous residents already paid for their shares is nonsense.

    As a result any demand that new residents pay their own full costs is equivalent to saying no more growth. There is no payable amount of proffers that could have paid for what FArifax needs or should have planned for.

    EMR does not undertand, and does not want to consider the costs of complexity and obsolescence, because it will blow his theory out of the water.

    But all of this boils down to what is too much development? Like everyother tradeoff you have these cost and benefit curves, and wherever they cross is the lowest total cost.

    Just like the case with pollution, no one has an agenda to look for that point because everyone believes they can “win” by pushing or dragging that point to “their side. but inevitably the total costs are ALWAYS higher, anyplace but that one point: your “gain” in that case MUST come from someone else’s loss.

    It is stealing. Just like the county “saved” $2700 a year (their figures, not mine) at a cost to me of $500,000. I’m not too impressed with their savings.

    So if you make the city more dense you can travel less, but it might take longer. You have shared walls to save heat, but you also share your neighbors taste in music. Youh ave a heat island that increases your summertime cooling costs but might decrease your winter heating costs. And you have a lot of “public use” energy costs like lobbies, outdoor lighting, etc.

    You concentrate the pollution dirt and noise. You need more police protection. More social services. You have to add mass transit, but you still nee auto fcilities. You use less space per person, but you have less space per person, and it costs more per square ft. There are a lot more people to sell to and hire.

    All those costs and all those benefits will be different for different sizes of towns (and geography matters, too).

    But if you stack them all up and make a crve of curves you could concievably show what is the optimum size town with the best cost/benefit ratio.

    TMT is fighting developement,and probably for a good reason. Here in FAuquier PEC is fighting development for essentially the same reasons, but they mostly dont apply in the same way.

    The only conclusion is that there is nothing scientfic or justifiably economic in this fight, it is entirel emotional.

    “I want what I want and I’m entitled to have it. I want nothing to ever change, eer disturb me, and I don’t want any new neighbors, even if they own their land and I don’t.”

    TMT is concerend the developers will make big windfalls, and even if this trickles down to him in home values or business opportunities, it won’t be for a long time and the benefits won’t outweigh the costs of higher taxes and more traffic.

    I conense that whoe thing to saying that the proerty rights have never been properly defined or protected. (I don’t calim to know HOW to do all that, exactly.) If they were, the TMT would have a market based means to sell those property rights that he now feels are being stolen and converted into profits for the developers.

    He might still not want to sell, but it would be his choice rather than just being Gypped. And his decision might be influenced by how many of his neighbors want to sell.

    Both TMT and EMR are right about some things and wrong about somethings. Thats because they are cherry picking their arguments to promote their agenda. In my business we say that they have not encompassed all of the sytem boundaries.

    You have to do that so that you can define what you are talking about. Anything outside the system has no costs and provides no benefits inside the system. usually that just means the transaction costs of figuring it out are too high to bother.

    Then, inside the system you make a COMPREHENSIVE list of ALL the Costs and ALL the benefits, and somehow put prices on ALL of them.

    Then all you have to do is add it all up to get the costs and benefits for that system. Then make the proposed change and see how it affects the WHOLE system.

    If the cost benefit ratio is better,it is a good change. Let the winners pay off th elosers and eeryone ought to be happy AND better off.

    If not, it is a bad policy that does not meet the net social benefit criteria.

    There is nothing inconsistent with any of this, I don’t think. I dont care whether Fairfax is “too developed” or not. I care that no one is seriously trying to find out, and everyone else has a bone to pick.

    It is the dfference between lions snarling over a carcass and dolphins herding the fish so each can take turns.

    RH

  82. Larry G Avatar

    I’m going to use TMT as an example.

    TMT built some time ago including a nice driveway.

    Now someone buys the lot next door.. and it costs way more than what TMT paid and so the guy wants to build a nice house but save on the cost of the driveway by suggesting that he and TMT share the existing drive.

    TMT objects because his driveway was not built to handle twice as many cars as it was designed to.

    the guy next door says that TMT is being unfair because he got his house and driveway …cheaper…and did not, in effect, pay “enough” for it and now that TMT should be willing to help share the cost of the new guys needs.

    TMT refuses and the new guy goes off in a huff claiming that TMT stopped him from building his home because he was going to make him pay for his own driveway.

    That’s the new guy needs infrastructure – quandary in a nutshell.

    I’ll be if you put the question to 100 people – you’d lose 99-1.

    which is…ohmygod.. the usually outcome when someone proposes new growth but doesn’t want to provide the necessary infrastructure to serve it and wants the existing residents to “suck it up” or else be labeled as “anti-growth” ….

    Bonus Question – tell me again what exactly did TMT do wrong or take advantage of that he should not have?

  83. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “TMT objects because his driveway was not built to handle twice as many cars as it was designed to.”

    TMT owns the driveway. He has the right to do as he pleases with it.

    The neighbor has the right to offer more money to TMT. He can offer to pay for the uprade, rent to share the driveway, half the maintenance and half the taxable value, plus profit for TMT. At some point either TMT will cave, or it will be cheaper for the neighbor to build his own driveway. Either way, both parties have accepted the deal and the cheapest available result is obtained.

    None of this is really an issue, and you are deliberately obfuscating.

    ———————————–

    Suppose the neighbor can’t work a deal with TMT who is holding out for still more. The neighbor turns instead to HIS neighbor on the other side who readily agrees to the deal. (System bounaries just expanded) TMT places a higher personal value on HIS rights to HIS driveway, but he has NO rights to tell the far neighbor what to do with his or what they are worth.

    TMT cannot arbitrarily set the price himself for ALL driveway rights, or claim that there ARE NONE, while he is still using his. And this is pretty much the same situation we have discussed concerning pollution: A few people want to arbitrarily set the value for all air for everybody. TMT THOUGHT he knew the value of his driveway, until a free market opened up, and he had competition.

    ——————————–

    If TMT does sell his driveway rights then the far neighbor gets loss of LOS because there is a new car on the street. And vice versa.
    Neither one gets to use loss of LOS as a hammer to prevent the neighbor from sharing his driveway. They both have the same rights (to share their driveway) and the same obligation (not to interfere with the neighbors right to share the driveway). Otherwise both parties lose control over their own driveway.

    But these people are really ripped about this new car on the street (He is using “our” LOS) and they are determined it doesn’t happen again. So they get together and agree to pass an ordinance – no shared driveways.

    But TMT is already getting rent for his driveway, under previous rules. If the neighbors really think they are collectively better off with no driveway shareing then they should be willing to buy out TMTs driveway lease. His driveway lease is his property and they have no right to take it without compensation. It is one stick of his bundle of sticks.

    ——————————–

    TMT got a curb cut to put in his driveway. Then he went to BOS and got an ordinance passed that says curb cuts must be at least 200 feet apart, knowing his neighbors lot is 150.

    When TMT’s neighbor gets around to building he can’t without a driveway permit. TMT gets a clear view when he wants to pulll out of his driveway and he doesn’t have to pay anything for it. He has effectively taken control of the neighbors property without paying for it.

    He could have been in the same situation as before: he could offer to pay his neighbor not to put in his driveway, but to share a driveway with the neighbor on the other side, but why do that if he can get the same result for free?

    Or he can agree to share his driveway for a fee, and then get another ordinance that says no more driveway sharing. He gets his driveway at half price plus income, which is forbidden to all his future neighbors.

    (My Alexandria house shares a driveway, which would not be permitted today. If they really wanted to enforce the rule, I would not be grandfathered and they could force me to stop using the house. They would owe me for my loss in exchange for their ostensible gain.)

    Probably TMT paid a fee to VDOT to approve his curb cut. His neighbor would expect to pay the same fee – if he is allowed a driveway. But TMT has heard about EMRs 10X rule so he agitates to get the fee raised 10x. TMT put in a culvert and a gravel drive, but he gets a new new rule that the neighbor has to put in shaped gutters storm drain and sidewalk, plus pay the 10x fee.

    WTF shrugs TMT, as he walks on the new sidewalk, I paid for MY infrastructure, let him pay for his.

    RH

  84. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    With that question I ought to lose a 100 to one. it isn;t even close to what I’m saying.

    I’m saying newcomers shud pay a fair price for increased infrastructure.

    We do not know what a fair price is, and no one is honestly looking. “They have no right to degrade our infrastructure” is an argument that is silly, insignificant, and has nothing to do with the problem at hand.

    The question is how much infrastructure is enough for Y number of people. We now have X number of people. When it is all done, how much will X and Y people use the infrastructure, old and new? How much of the new requirement is an improvement onthe old infrastructure, ans how much of the old infrastructure was ever paid for?

    It isn’t just, necessarily, for jsut the new people topay for all the new stuff.

    Here is a better way. Every new comer has to buy shares in the existing infrastructure, and all this new money reduces the cost to the earlier “owners” for their sahres. this takew out the I paid already argument. Then, everybody pays for new infrastucture equally. No more arguments.

    This works a lot better, because the amount spent on previous IFS is known precisely. You got 2000 people in town the new guy pays 1/2000. By the time you get to 4000 the original group got half their investment back.

    But everyone in town always pays for new IFS equally. Everybody paid for the old IFS equally. End of argument. This plan automatically calculates the answer to those questions above.

    RH

    RH

  85. Larry G Avatar

    What if NONE of TMT’s neighbors want to take the deal – and further they agree as a group – they never will?

    don’t they have the right to do that especially if they believe that if one does it..and then the rest do it… that in the end, it won’t benefit them..but rather the opposite.. it will .. degrade the entire neighborhood?

    Are folks in a neighborhood/hamet/community allowed to decide – as a group – the rules that apply to all of them?

    Don’t HCAs work this way?

    Aren’t ordinances.. like mother-in-law accessory apartments – ones that eventually an entire community might agree that while such a thing might benefit one guy…with no real harm …that if everyone did it.. it would add so much additional traffic as to cause a problem?

    We see this all the time.

    A guy wants to park his 18-wheeler where he lives.

    Unfortunately he needs to fire it up at 4 a.m. in the morning.

    People put up with it…cuz they like the guy.. until another guy on the same street says if the first guy can do it..he wants to also… then what?

    did they have the right to do it?

    was that right removed?

    if a majority of folks in the neighborhood are in favor of taking away that right – can they legally do it?

    answer please.

  86. Larry G Avatar

    “I’m saying newcomers shud pay a fair price for increased infrastructure.

    We do not know what a fair price is, and no one is honestly looking.”

    but we do know for some things for sure.

    If 1000 new folks move in to a subdivision – they’re going to need a school ESPECIALLY if the existing schools are all full which is pretty much the case in a place like Loudoun that up until last year I think …were building 2-3 new schools per year.

    Each of these schools can easily cost anywhere from 30 to more than 100 million dollars and they must be ready when the people move in and while they can be bought on credit – the debt service has to be paid.

    So where would you find this kind of money – Ray?

    there are not nebulous, pick a number out of hat… they’re pretty real and pretty specific.

    where does the money come from?

  87. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “A guy wants to park his 18-wheeler where he lives.

    Unfortunately he needs to fire it up at 4 a.m. in the morning.

    People put up with it…cuz they like the guy.. until another guy on the same street says if the first guy can do it..he wants to also”

    What you just described is a case of inadequately defined property rights.

    He had the right before, or at least no one else claimed to have some other right.

    Who is it that now wants something new? Who is claiming a new right without paying for it?

    Suppose this guy had a farm and kept his truck on the farm, then he gradually sold off the lots around him until this event occured. In law, there is a concept called moving into a nuisance. Thse people should have no standing to complain. If they don’t like it they can offer to hite a parking space someplace else.

    Don’t think so?

    Swap the truck for a donkey that fires up at 5:30, with right to farm laws in place. The right to farm laws put people on notice that the farmers got there first.

    How many times we gotta do this before you concede?

    RH

  88. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “What if NONE of TMT’s neighbors want to take the deal -“

    You lost me.

    Under your scenario it was TMTs neighbor that made the first proposal. How can all of fhis neighbors com in later, and complain about what he already did?

    You are making the majority rule argument again. But majority rule is restricted by the requirement for net social benefit and protection of minorites.

    If the nighbors want to, and if they think it is to their benefit THEN, they can pass a rule, and pay him for his loss.

    If they are not willing ot pay, then, ipso facto, their benefit is not as high as his loss.

    If they pass the rule anyway, then they are stealing.

    Why is this so hard for you?

    RH

  89. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    If 1000 new folks move in , then they should chip in to cover all the previous infrastcture. That we can agree onthe cost of. The 1000 new folks buy shares inthe existing infrastructure, reducing the previous owners cost.

    If there is only one previous owner, his cost oes to near zero, and his shae of the new will be 1/1000, or thereabouts. He gets the same rights to the new ivfrastructure as everyone else and he pays the same amount.

    What is to argue about?

    You see how property rights solves this problem? The existing owner has rights. the new people have to buy them. then they all buy new stuff whcih they pay for eqully , and the all have the same rights.

    Which they can charge the next newcomers for, equally.

    Where is your problem with this: that it does NOT keep the newcomers out by creating impossible standards??

    RH

  90. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “they must be ready when the people move in “

    Well, how re the newcomers going to pay it then, if they are not there yet??

    Obviously they can’t, and they won’t ever get there withou APF.

    So APF is nothing but an anti growth law.

    Circular logic, Larry.

    Anyway, it is bogus. You donpt open a subdivisionone day and have a 1000 people flood in like the Oklahoma gold rush.

    (What did THEY do for schools?)

    Try and solve the problem,and soplve it fairly, instead of crying that it cannot be done.

    You could move to another community, and then yuor LOS would get bought by the new guy, and wehn youmoved to your new nwighborhood you would have to buy LOS from them.

    You would probably move to a place with lower LOS and lower LOS costs, some etirelment place, or in the boonies, so you could pocket the money, at least for a while.

    Kind of puts a different spin on the claim that “I don’t want my LOS degraded” doesn’t it?

    CMON, would you really move to a place that had much better LOS if you had to pay for it?

    RH

  91. Larry G Avatar

    “Well, how re the newcomers going to pay it then, if they are not there yet??”

    you’re pretty thick at times… I think.. no infrequently..on purpose.

    The schools are built by borrowing the money… and then the new folks pay it back …JUST LIKE they do with the rest of the house…

    so.. 1000 new people pay for the new school..

    tell me again.. the method you propose that involves existing taxpayers?

    Also.. how come for every post I make.. you make 7.. all longer.. and usually don’t answer the question asked?

    plowing through “thick” blather.. just to find your one or two (usually wrong) points… is pretty tedious

  92. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “The schools are built by borrowing the money… and then the new folks pay it back …JUST LIKE they do with the rest of the house…”

    As I recall, this whole issue came up because th egrwoth was so fast that localities ranout of borrowing power.

    APF laws are meant to circumvent that by forcing prospective developers to borrow and pay for infrastructure up front, schols mostly because that is the big bucks.

    Since only the biggest develoeprs can do this, the small local guys are out of business, and only the big developers we hate can succeed. I don’t think thisis a desired result.

    Since only the biggest developers can succeed under these rules and only in the best conditions, APF mostly succeeds in its real goal which is preventing development.

    My paln is a little different. You have a 1000 existing residents with infrastucuter with book value of $100,000 – 100 each. 1000 new residents want to move in. You issue 1000 new shares for the infrastructure, which dilutes its value. You sell them to the newcomers for $50 apiece.

    Now you still have book value on the existing infrastructure of $100,000 but now they are only $50 apiece. The existing residents get $50 of their original investment bask and everyone is equal at $50 apiece.

    Then you an build new infrastucture, which might have different and better requirements than the old, and everybody pays equally for those, and eerybody has the right to use them equally.

    No problem right? Those that think they paid for IFS get paid back partly, and now there is less incentive to gold plate the requirements for new stuff as a way to keep people out.

    undoubtedly someone will find a way to beef about this, but it seems more fair than APF to me.

    RH

  93. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “…if a majority of folks in the neighborhood are in favor of taking away that right – can they legally do it?”

    Yes, provided they pay him for his lost invested interest in the right they removed.

    They want this right removed because they think they (everyone) will be better off.

    Except (everyone) won’t be better off unless the losers are compensated. If they are not willing to compensate the losers, then the gain isn’t worth the cost.

    If the probleme is that “everyone” did it ten the cost of paying off everyone will be a lot higher (and of course “everyone” would have to pay: you would be paying yourself.) On the other hand the benefit would be much higher because you “removed” all those cars” (if THAT is really a benefit and not a cost.)

    How many times do I have to do this? This is elementary stuff.

    RH

  94. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Are folks in a neighborhood/hamet/community allowed to decide – as a group – the rules that apply to all of them?”

    No, not if it harms a minority.

    Or, yes, if they are willing to pay to removce the harm.

    RH

  95. Larry G Avatar

    "As I recall, this whole issue came up because th egrwoth was so fast that localities ranout of borrowing power.

    APF laws are meant to circumvent that by forcing prospective developers to borrow and pay for infrastructure up front, schols mostly because that is the big bucks.

    Since only the biggest develoeprs can do this, the small local guys are out of business, and only the big developers we hate can succeed. I don't think thisis a desired result.

    Since only the biggest developers can succeed under these rules and only in the best conditions, APF mostly succeeds in its real goal which is preventing development."

    you're sliding sideways again as usual.

    How are you going to pay for the school when you build a 1000 home subdivision?

    Somebody has to pay for it.

    Why should the folks in the 1000 home subdivision not pay for it?

    the idea that the small developer can't do this is because counties "by-right" land escapes the proffers and so the counties know that if 1000 by-right homes get built that the school will still have to be built.

    If they are out of credit .. their only recourse is to raise taxes.

    If they raise taxes to pay for new schools from by-right..guess what happens to "by-right"?

    They get rid of it because if they don't they'll get voted out of office and the new guys will.

    You say that this is people trying to stop growth.

    It's not.

    It's people saying that if growth won't pay it's legitimate costs THEN it will not be allowed.

    and look around you guy.

    the argument you are making.. if it were true… Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania would all look like Facquier.

    Spotsylvania alone – doubled their population in a decade due to growth that was NOT turned down.

    Only AFTER, it was clear to everyone that the more growth we had..the higher the taxes would be did people start demanding proffers to force new folks to pay for the schools that they would need.

    this is not anti-growth by any stretch of the imagination – it is instead .. taxpayers refusing to be taxed more and more – no matter the growth rate.

    at some point, they put their foot down and say "no more".

    In Spotsylvania's case, they decided that they WOULD ALLOW a 2% rate of growth… because that would give them time to catch up with the other infrastructure…roads, schools,, libraries, fire& rescue, etc

    and it would STILL require SOME tax increases but they accepted it.

    They passed a referenda … to build this infrastructure and it would cost them.. but they voted yes – to a tax increase to pay for the infrastructure that was needed.

    But they did draw a line in the sand.. saying that any future growth would have to pay it's legitimate costs.

    In other words.. they did not stop growth.

  96. Larry G Avatar

    "Since only the biggest develoeprs can do this, the small local guys are out of business, and only the big developers we hate can succeed. I don't think thisis a desired result."

    any business has to be adequately capitalized including developers.

    What kills the smaller guys is the fact that we don't have APF for EVERY new home.

    If we had that -then all the little guys could build and develop because then the impact fee would be added to the cost of the home just as the water & sewer fees are added.

    but because the property rights folks have opposed APF – the result has been … counties that discourage "by-right" land development.

    They didn't start off doing this.

    they only did it AFTER they were getting killed by the infrastructure costs that then had to be passed on to existing taxpayers…

    …who said at the polls that if they continued to pass on the costs of growth to existing taxpayers. they'd be voted out of office…

    …and they were…

    If we had APF – every single house would have to pay a fee and that would allow the smaller developers to develop more "by-right" land…

  97. Larry G Avatar

    “My paln is a little different. You have a 1000 existing residents with infrastucuter with book value of $100,000 – 100 each. 1000 new residents want to move in. You issue 1000 new shares for the infrastructure, which dilutes its value. You sell them to the newcomers for $50 apiece.

    Now you still have book value on the existing infrastructure of $100,000 but now they are only $50 apiece. The existing residents get $50 of their original investment bask and everyone is equal at $50 apiece.

    Then you an build new infrastucture, which might have different and better requirements than the old, and everybody pays equally for those, and eerybody has the right to use them equally.

    No problem right? Those that think they paid for IFS get paid back partly, and now there is less incentive to gold plate the requirements for new stuff as a way to keep people out.”

    Would you like to put your plan to a vote and let people decide if they agree with what you say is a better way?

    ..or do you want it imposed on them?

    this is the same deal that you have with pollution…

    and you can’t reconcile the fact that in a one man – one vote representative government that you cannot impose on others any of your “good” ideas …that you must convince them that your “good” ideas are actually “good” in their view also.

    and you cannot reconcile that concept if they do not agree with your “good” ideas…

    and then you take to calling them liars and thieves…

    people are not opposed to growth and they are not opposed to upgrading infrastructure either.

    That’s why we have FUNDED CIP Plans and that’s why Fairfax Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania voters APPROVED increases in taxes to pay for additional infrastructure and it’s why that these counties have experienced such high growth rates that they are among the highest in the country…

    you say that they’ve stopped growth.

    The facts suggest otherwise.

  98. Larry G Avatar

    “No problem right? Those that think they paid for IFS get paid back partly, and now there is less incentive to gold plate the requirements for new stuff as a way to keep people out.”

    no there is a big problem because you’ve not provided one shred of evidence to show that ANY of the infrastructure is “gold plated” in the first place and you’re not arguing for non gold-plated infrastructure in the first place….

    you’re arguing against APF – no matter whether it’s “gold-plated” or not.

    you’re basically arguing against the concept of impact fees on a philosophical basis that any/all such fees are wrong… not that they are too high because of “gold plating”.

    in other words.. you’re sliding sideways again.. dredging up side issues that really are just obfuscation of the primary issue of whether new folks should pay impact fees or not.

  99. Larry G Avatar

    “No problem right? Those that think they paid for IFS get paid back partly, and now there is less incentive to gold plate the requirements for new stuff as a way to keep people out.”

    how many times does this happen if your growth rate is 5% and higher?

    Is the end result of this – that existing owners will have to pay more and more… the higher the growth rate?

    fess up Ray.. what happens to the existing owners when the growth rate accelerates?

    Your argument used to be that it’s OK to charge them because their homes would be worth more.

    Now that, that is no longer true.. what is your justification?

    what do the existing residents get out of paying more and more as the growth rate go up?

  100. Larry G Avatar

    “”Are folks in a neighborhood/hamet/community allowed to decide – as a group – the rules that apply to all of them?”

    No, not if it harms a minority.”

    who determines this?

    If one guy wants to park a TT and the rest of his neighborhood is opposed to it.. who decides?

    what is the process?

    does the guy with the TT get to continue because he is a “minority”?

    nope.

  101. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    “Is the end result of this – that existing owners will have to pay more and more… the higher the growth rate?”

    You really dont gget it, so you?

    go back and read the example, make up a little excel sheet and see how it works.

    The more the growth rate goes up, the more they get paid back on what they claim they paid for. Everybody is then equal on Book value, and every body starts of equally paying the same percentage of new stuff,

    At th end everybody paid the ame amount for old cheap stuff and new expwnsive stuff. This removes the incentive to gold plate the “new” requirements because everyone pays for them eqully.

    But in the next round, they also equally get the next rebate at the higher basis.

    Each newcomer has to buy a share of a bigger basis (book value) but is is diluted by more previous owners, and whateer he pays is also ditribued among moreprevious shareholders.

    It all comes out perfeclty eaqual and the same for every player, and no one has reason to begrudge the next guy.

    Some people will hate that, because the the whol APF charade is just to begrudgfe the next guy.

    Economy, Equality, Environment.

    RH

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