Word of the Day: Loudoun-ize

Loudoun-ize

: verb meaning to overrun an area with residential building because you are an elected GOP official in the pocket of developers. H. Clark Leming, a land-use attorney, discusses charges that Stafford County is being “Loudoun-ized” in this Free-Lance Star op-ed.


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  1. Local governments feature the most corruption. I wonder if there’s a correlation between local corruption and voter apathy regarding local politics? Hmmm…

    The same goes for the state…you have elected officials using their office to rewrite laws to benefit their private businesses. Allegations swarmed around John Watkin’s efforts to move 288 across Watkins nursery last year.

    And then you have Dave Albo, who writes the traffic laws, then defends traffic offenders…

    Since it’s impossible to prove actually corruption without a smoking gun (hard to get) we just let this happen over and over.

  2. Virginia Centrist Avatar
    Virginia Centrist

    And don’t forget the Democrats’ corruption machine of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I don’t want to leave them out, but I’m too young to really remember. Or be alive.

  3. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    VC – Don’t leave out the Dems’ corruption machine of the 80s and 90s, too.

  4. Bob Griendling Avatar
    Bob Griendling

    We’ll gee, let’s not leave the GOP corruption of the 1890s, as well.

    I half expect the next commentator to say “Nanny-nanny poo-poo.”

  5. This reminds me of when Ann Coulter constantly accuses today’s Democrats of being racist because southern democrats didn’t support the civil rights movement 4 decades ago. well gee ann, didn’t some of those Democrats switch parties?

  6. Bob Griendling Avatar
    Bob Griendling

    Ray,

    What are you talking about? Bribes? If a developer wants to build hundreds of homes, seeing that he — and in turn the home buyers — pay for the roads, schools, cops, firemen, books and parks they will undoubtedly demand is hardly a bribe. It’s call paying your fair share.

    Because one voter wants to sell his land, it shouldn’t mean that all other voters must pay to ensure the one voter’s profit.

    One day they’ll look back at your post and say, “What was he thinking?”

  7. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Bribes wasn’t my word, that came from a county supervisor.

    By all taxpayers not paying to ensure another’s profit, do you mean like all the taxpayers that are chipping in for Metro, when the profits go to developers with property next to the station? Why should chipping in for other infrastructure be any different?

    Meanwhile, another developer get told to take a hike. Where is the level playing field? Call them what you like, the question stands, what other business goes through this?

    Why not charge the automakers for roads, or plumbers for sewers?

    If the homeowners pay the price anyway, why not charge them?

    All those other voters are the ones that already enjoy their home, and their profits. And they are complaining about their profits, which come in the form of higher assessments, which in turn are caused by unmet demand for housing.

    Here is a case where the voters keep out the “others” or “outsiders” who face the ultimate discriminatory fact that they can’t vote because they don’t have residency!

    I think the point of this thread is that both parties have rationalized bad behavior for years. It is only through the viewpoint of history that we understand it for what it is.

  8. “Nanny-nanny poo-poo?”

    Bob: Don’t you run an educational PAC for Governor Mark Warner that promotes Nanny-state tax increases?

  9. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Bribe comes from an old french word that means “a little gift”. It implies complicity by both parties that expect a change in behavior as a result, like giving your dog a treat.

    Extortion implies a one sided exchange, based on an abuse of power.

    If development was merely a matter of paying the fees, that would be one thing. The developers could make economic choices and go about their business.

    Instead, what is happening is an exercise in power, fairness, predictiability, and transparency are lost. Even when a developer agrees to proffers, lack of density, and other conditions, he may still be hit with purely “aesthetic” conditions such as brickwork, pediments, etc.

    Do we need to have interior lighted signs screaming at us? Of course not. But limiting someone in the money they can spend is one thing, requireing them to spend money is another.

    I recently spoke with a local businessman who had just gotten a building permit approved to renovate his facility. A local citizen’s group came to him and said what was approved wasn’t what they wanted. He told them he was perfectly happy to build what they wanted, if they paid for it.

  10. Bob Griendling Avatar
    Bob Griendling

    Ray,

    “By all taxpayers not paying to ensure another’s profit, do you mean like all the taxpayers that are chipping in for Metro, when the profits go to developers with property next to the station? Why should chipping in for other infrastructure be any different?”

    Not a good analogy. 1) Metro serves anyone who wants to use it. I don’t get to use another’s house — or school for that matter. It’s their house and their schools and roads they need; let them pay for them. 2)While businesses near Metro might do well as a result, many have paid an extra tax, i.e., business district taxes, and besides, that profit was a byproduct of #1.

    ”If the homeowners pay the price anyway, why not charge them?”

    Proffers and impact fees do that.

    ”All those other voters are the ones that already enjoy their home, and their profits. And they are complaining about their profits, which come in the form of higher assessments, which in turn are caused by unmet demand for housing.”

    You’ve got a point there in that people should either stop complaining about property taxes or stop complaining about growth, but you can’t complain about both.

    ”Here is a case where the voters keep out the “others” or “outsiders” who face the ultimate discriminatory fact that they can’t vote because they don’t have residency!”

    If I understandf this correctly, I don’t understand your point. Are you suggesting that people who don’t live in a jurisdiction ought to have a vote in how that jurisdiction is run? Oh, wait, we already have that: It’s called the General Assembly and its Dillon Rule.

  11. Ray Hyde Avatar

    It is all like the growth/price conundrum. Every time we pull the wool over someones eyes, it turns out to be the rug under someones feet.

    The business district taxes that NearMetro owners are paying are a fraction of the total costs – 50% comes from the feds, meaning people in Hawaii who will probably never ride Metro, even though they are free to if they want. 25% from the state, also most of whom don’t ride Metro.

    What NearMetro owners are paying is also only a fraction of what they stand to make. That is reasonable because We can’t expect them to spend ALL of their profits paying for the metro station that caused them, because Metro does benefit others as well.

    How is that different from someone who builds a house? Should we take ALL of the profit out of their house in order to build a street in front? Don’t we all benefit from having sewers? The street is there for all to enjoy, even if Hawaiians (or you and I) don’t use it often.

    I assume your house has a street in front. Who paid for it? What if you move or go visit a friend? Whose streets are those?

    Proffers and impact fees raise the cost of new homes. But since used homes are assessed at market rates the value of all homes go up on account of the fees. What studies show is that local government winds up collecting more additional tax from the existing owners than they do from the new owners. It is just another sly way to get a tax increase and make it look like the “outsiders” are paying it.

    Suppose we are eventually able to sort this out and decide equitably who pays for what and we set impact fees at so much a square foot accordingly. That would take the corruption out of local government, because if the builders (and owners) are willing to pay it we have no financial reason to keep them out and government power goes away.

    The “outsiders” argument is a classic way of demonizing the opponent, the same way blacks were once argued to be subhuman, and it is just as wrong. Right now, more than 11,000 jurisdictions across the nation have imposed some kind of growth restriction against “outsiders” At what point does this become ridiculous?

    If we do as is proposed above and only tax homes on the original sales price, that amounts to a tax on newcomers as opposed to current citizens. Suppose your job changes and you need to move, you want to get taxed for that? Won’t you expect to have a road where you move? Or Metro? Don’t we all benefit when people are educated at least enough to read a stop sign?

    We have enough congestion problems already because there are huge disincentives to moving close to where we work. Should we add to those disincentives?

    We aren’t anywhere near smart enough to charge everyone full price for all the decisions they make. The more complex we make the tax xollection system the more it will cost to run and the less we get for our money.

    If we ever get that smart will we then allow everyone to do as they please? If we get every move preciseley calibrated as to cost, does that make everything a zero sum game?

    I don’t think so. Everyone will still think someone else is getting something for nothing (Nanny Poo). Everyone will still think everyone else is a special interest (Corruption). Even if they are paying full price, we still don’t want them doing things we don’t like (Polluters).

    And we’ll still have the DEMS and PUBS. And I will still have only so much money to pay taxes with.

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