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By The Commentators

Developers And Other Bad Guys

By The Commentators Posted June 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

This is Ellie Kinnaird.

We all know who the bad guys are in our towns are, don’t we?  Developers. The only things more evil are big box stores. By the way, where did you shop last week?

Developers, those folks who cut down the trees next to our beautiful home. Who destroy open space and pave roads and bring in heavy equipment, making our life miserable for months.

But unless you live in one of the old homes on East Franklin Street and surrounding the campus, or the old African American neighborhoods, you live in a development. Lake Shore, Morgan Creek, Booker Creek, Sturbridge, Falconbridge, Lake Hogan Farms, Highland Hills, Stoneridge, Webbwood, Spring Valley, The Oaks, Southern Village, Colony Woods. Even Greenwood, developed by our hero Paul Green. Remember Glen Lennox? A development. And now a redevelopment.

Roger Perry fought for 10 years to build Meadowmont, where now many happy people think it is a lovely place to live and shop.  In fact, if you are listening to this program, you probably, along with 40,000 other souls, live in a development.  Even our treasured Carrboro mill houses were a development.

So why are developers the enemy? Partly because we think we own all that empty space we enjoy. Forever. Partly because our visual landscape is part of our precious memories. But as each development is built, families move in and never know that it was a woods, or an open field, or a landscape that someone else enjoyed. They think of it as theirs.

The fact is, unless you are very wealthy or inherited land, single-built homes are just not feasible. It takes capital to buy the land, and lots of reserves in the bank to sit out the interminable years it takes to go through our obstructionist permitting system. And why is that system so difficult? Because nobody wants a development next to them.

Until their kids in the new neighborhood go to school together, play together, and become friends, just like you and your kids did when you moved into your development.  So, as you stand on the porch of the beautiful house you love, looking over your pleasant yard, watching your children play with those from the next development over, thank a developer.

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