We are contacted by many who feel that their communities have been taken over by advocates of high density development (sprawl painted green and built vertically to tower over rural and small towns). Anyone who objects to heavy handed siphoning off of property tax dollars to the hands of big corporate interests and labor bosses through redevelopment is labeled 'tea partier' or 'hater.' It would be amusing if it weren't so prevalent, and such an effective way of closing the ears of liberals to the message of their neighbors, who may also be liberal, but not spouting the party line. Anyone who questions the connections between special interests and the legislators/council people they pay to elect is attacked.
Fear of attack keeps some quiet. But not all.
The corruption is endemic to our government---here in Santa Rosa the Redevelopment Agency, a slush fund for developers, bought the old ATT building and then sold it to developer Hugh Futrell for over a million less than the city paid for it. Millions were just handed to the Simon Group, the world's largest shopping center owner, half owner of Coddingtown Mall, for 'renovations' as a 'loan' with over a million as a gift. Part of their idea of 'renovation' is to remove local business owners from the Mall---they're considered blight.
Ending redevelopment will drive a stake through the heart of Agenda 21 at this time. Redevelopment is a major funding source for this community-destroying plan masquerading as 'green.' Redesigning community through force and manipulation, through corruption and fraud, is a watchword here in Sonoma County.
You don't have to support New Urbanism to preserve your liberal credentials. At best you come off as a hypocrite if you're advocating tirelessly for high density development while sitting in your single family home. Riding a bike is a pleasant exercise not an excuse to tear up streets, oust longtime businesses, reroute traffic through residential neighborhoods, and send existing buildings to the landfill. The operative word in Smart Growth is GROWTH---it's development backed by big business bent on demolishing and homogenizing our towns.
That's not green. And it's NOT smart.
Take a look at what some citizens in El Dorado County are saying about Smart Growth and the transformation of their rural towns.