Archive for September 20th, 2007

by jhwygirl

Seems the County Commissioner’s unanimously denied a secondly attempted subdivision near Clearwater Junction in the Blanchard Creek area.

The first attempt was 119 lots on 202 acres – this most recent 59 lots on the same.

Now, a ‘kudos’ has to go out to the fairly new Rural Initiatives division of Office of Planning & Grants. With the addition of wildlife biologist Vickie Edwards, the review of natural resource impacts and wildlife issues stands on much firmer ground with the input of someone with training and expertise. And the affects are seen with this denial.

The proposed development – the applicant is still contemplating another try – has 5 threatened or endangered species within a 5-mile radius of its location.

The developer’s solution to this was to build an 8-foot electrified wall around the development.

Nice. Welcome to the neighborhood, I guess.

Now, aside from that and other issues (like that which this summer’s Jocko Lake fire brings to mind, density so far from services, and that little thing called “fire protection”), I began to ponder this today: There are those (see here and here for some discussion in that regards) who slam any mention of inclusionary housing as a solution to the affordable housing problem facing people making up to and slightly beyond the median income here in Missoula (and other parts of this state). They defending the developer’s right to make any darn amount of profit that they may – regardless of how much.

I believe, on the other hand, that:

(#1) Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing development through reduced permitting fees for subdivision.

(#2) Affordable housing provides economic stability which benefits the whole community.

(#3) That accepting the concept that taxpayers should subsidize development while decrying the idea that developers should be required to sell a small percentage of their homes at prices that are affordable to people who make 80 – 100% of the median income is absurd.

And finally, (#4) Location, Location, Location: Missoula isn’t going to see anything more than a small “pop” in the housing market bubble. Real small. That is a fact (you can google that for yourself), same as has been exhibited in other places like Aspen, Vail, Whitefish, Jackson Hole. The natural amenities, combined with unnatural amenities (like airports, highways, localized infrastructure and shopping and entertainment) will continue to be driving forces in the housing market far more than any economic downturns in the housing industry.

So while others seem to want to ignore the problem at hand (or at least cover their ears and sing “la, la, la, la, la”) and champion the right-to-profit of the almighty developer, I have to question how much profit is enough profit.

Especially when a developer can first propose 119 lots. Then 59 lots. And then contemplate even another submittal, with presumably even less lots.

And I seriously doubt that the lot prices more than doubled. Market is what market it – his lot prices were undoubtedly based on size of the lots, not cost-profit margins.

Pink Bunnies At Work

by jhwygirl

No amount of asking, pleading, cajoling, lecturing, begging or attempts at embarrassment over the last 2 years were successful at getting a coworker to vote. Lord knows I tried.

But today she called me into her office to announce proudly that she was registering to vote. I looked over and asked her how she was doing it – what website she was coming from – when she announced “Pink Bunnies!”

Good Job Forward Montana!

Plus, I think Matt looks good in pink!

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