Saturday, June 18, 2016

Going to an Unknown Place

I've made no secret that land use is not my thing. That is to say, I'm more than a little interested, but it isn't my area of expertise. But I've been seeing an uptick in conversations about APFO, proposed new developments, school overcrowding, traffic issues, and all the rest.

On the one hand, those opposed to increasing (or would that be continuing?) development in Howard County point to negative impact on our way of life. They are asking questions such as:

  • How well are we managing infrastructure needs as density increases?
  • How effective is the school system in handling overcrowding through redistricting and building new schools?
  • Will increasing population overwhelm the amenities and benefits that make Howard County special?
On the other hand, I have heard these sorts of questions coming from the other side:
  • Don't people understand that the law gives specific rights to the owner of the land?
  • Isn't this just a selfish attempt to prevent other people from enjoying the Howard County way of life that they are already enjoying?
  • Isn't this, at its roots, a racist reposnse to the possibility of a more culturally/ethnically/racially diverse population in areas which has traditionally been less diverse?
I don't have the answers to these questions. I have some opinions, but they are continually evolving as I learn more. I don't think it's productive to be motivated solely out of fear. I do think we need to support new development with all the necessary accoutrements that will make it successful. I don't think it's fair to say that all who are opposing development are selfish or racists.

Where do you think the discussion on these issues is headed? Where do you think we should be going?


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