Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Oh Shenandoah Please Enact A Good Rural Plan

Shenandoah County will benefit from good rural planning. Promoting rural prosperity will happen when we keep new housing near our towns; invest in land conservation; and strengthen our zoning ordinances.

New innovations can be explored once we see these as beginning economic development tools for our county. How we allow our land to be developed can be a win/win situation if we exercise wise best management practices. Otherwise irresponsible development will be passed on to us tax payers. One great example is who is going to be taking care of all the abandoned junk yards in our county? Who is going to clean these up? Citizen’s freedom to do things must be balanced by their responsibility to take care of those things they have.

The more we keep growth near our towns with joint comprehensive plans the cheaper it will be for us to provide public services and improved land use patterns. Already we our towns have invested in hundreds of millions in water and waste water and expansion into rural areas must be properly managed. Just look at our failing septic systems and other failed utilities to see that they do impact our county’s natural resources.

It is not question of “if” but “when” we will need agricultural land since food shortages will shortly be very evident. We need to develop a economic development program for our farms and fund the purchase of development rights (PDR).

Visit West Virginia if you wish to see what happens when you do not have zoning ordinances. Look at what is happening around Winchester. Updating our rural zoning by creating low density measures allowing in A-1 one lot per ten acres this county will benefit if it becomes law. Also one lot per 15 acres in C-1 zoning district will protect us from rapid sprawl. Also rewarding cluster development with “bonus” lots can reward our landowners so using the cluster option is imperative to keep our county rural.

Without integrated comprehensive planning increased Shenandoah County economic development comes into question. You can insure best management opportunities to promote future prosperity for Shenandoah County:

I urge you look at this county’s future from a big picture perspective. Just add together income gained from fisheries, agriculture, industry, and recreation and tourism this county currently enjoys. Supporting rural area plans are investment since document income from recreation and tourism and increased property values. However the most important investment is our county’s quality of life. If this get’s destroyed future generations will not get the same opportunities we have enjoyed. Ben Franklin was correct when he said, “I am not so concern on the return on my investment rather the return of my investment”

Government Waste: A Catch Word

Government waste is a common used phrase. However, even the many organization’s that are the watchdogs of this costly act have been unable to get to the root of the problem. We love create spend more instead of fully using what we have. Consume seems to be an economic mantra however, it all results in less if we do not show some thrift.

The government wastes money, resources and other precious things because there is an incentive to do so. We, Americans or better yet our Congress, has no reason to save since everyone wants more and more. Look at any area of government support- health care, defense, education, environmental protection, transportation, housing, foreign affairs, intelligence you see billions of dollars lost. The question is how we can create new commerce and prosperity without jeopardizing future generation's quality of life?

Now what incentives does our government give to be frugal or more conservative? You can search for performance based saving measures and you will find few or none. Just look at our national debt and you will see how it grows in trillions in several months.

The fact is that many special interests benefit from government over spending and waste. Watch the movie, “Charlie Wilson’s War” to see that Congress is an addict when it comes to fiscal restraint. Unfortunate like any addiction what will it take for American’s to understand we all pay more when we waste. However, the reality is that no one is going to seriously champion government towards more frugal ways since there are too many disincentives and special interests to result in such a change.

Unless Americans see the future connection if our government continues to waste they transfer this debt to the next generations to pay latter at higher cost. This country will not fully prosper until we have a revolution about how we conduct business. As we evolve to better management practices we also will find a increased sense of well being. Cleaning house is what is "eco" is all about becoming lean and helping to discover the really meaning of "green."