This is what I wrote the last time I covered the 40R in “Newburyport: Welcome to the Projects”:
“So why is the Mayor all for this? One, obviously; the city gets money for doing this, Two: the State is obligated to stop messing with our Chapter 70 and give us a higher level of school funding from the state. Three: the city has a high level of control over the design of these units and a freedom to insist on mixed-use zoning, and much input into the overall look and feel of the 40R. Four, it does fulfill the Strategic Land Use Plan which encouraged a unified design and increased development around the traffic circle and train in place of no development in the Upper Common Pasture. Five, a 40R is actually a 40B that is controlled by the community – by putting in this facility, even if we don’t achieve the 10% required to avoid 40B’s, Newburyport becomes safe from these community-destroying monsters. Six, we get money coming in to take care of the increase in students – not enough if we need to build a new school, but it will help. Wrap it all up, we end up lowering the property values and quality of life for this sector around the traffic circle/train station so the rest of the city can ‘pahteee’. But the rest of the city will suffer as we expend three to four times the cost of these developments to compensate for them – the lift station is just the first of many expensive burdens coming for the taxpayer.”
Social engineering for the left has always been the conceiving of an idea; without bothering to find out the end results; or at least measure the success rate of the ‘idea’. Smart Growth zoning is a combination of social engineering and fulfilling Agenda 21. Yeah, that’s right; remember the loonies in town were trying to say this United Nation’s initiative spawned the local historic district ordinance? Well, one; Agenda 21 is for real. Two, it’s the darling of the left – the Communist left. To them, all evil comes from owning property, therefore we need to ‘train’ people to not seek to own property – hence the Transit Area Development idea actually isn’t too bad an idea; but it’s coupled with Agenda 21; guaranteeing some pretty bad results. Eben Fodor, certainly NOT a conservative; has documented this ‘bad idea’ being played out in Smart Growth communities. They use the establishment of high-density as their cover; but the real purpose is to force those at lower socio-economic levels to be doomed to a ‘plantation’ mentality. The idea of forcing no social mobility upward resulting in minorities, and the disadvantaged, and the poor into a perpetually trapped condition.
He states, and this is the fact in America, over its history, (and our current reality) that owning property is the key to success. No amount of social engineering is going to stop this from happening. In other words, working hard to own a ‘house’ and a car – yes, that is still the way to go.
America since its inception; has had immigrants come into ghetto’s; who struggled to move out into a better life. Where once, an Irishman was doomed to digging ditches or the lowest of labor; to end up having prominent leaders, becoming President. Even the black community is being pushed out; as Hispanic minorities move in to take their place in the ghetto. The process continues today as refugees from Asia and the Middle East, in turn come and push out the Hispanics.
The problem lies in trying to stop this turbulent, but healthy process with forced housing. In short, as now the data is coming in from across the country, the whole concept is not ‘Smart Growth’ and is especially hurtful to hardworking minorities.
Funny this concept is being pushed by those in Newburyport who are very white, very upscale and certainly don’t want to mix with the ‘unwashed’.
These social do-gooders may want to hitch a ride on this latest loony movement. (Can’t blame them with all the benefits dangled before their eyes.) until it finally collapses like every other non-results oriented concept.
A lot of misery is going to be spread around trying to play this red herring. Remember, the Great Society was supposed to end poverty. Four Trillion dollars later, the ‘projects’ have to be demolished because they are nests for crime; we still have poverty in the country; and no one can measure how much suffering was generated by its costly failure.
But does Newburyport really need to suffer yet again?
I invite you to read Mr. Fodor’s The Myth of Smart Growth.