Thursday, January 13, 2005

Into the Wilderness

Up here, the unincorporated community where I live is the population center for the county. After thirty years in Los Angeles County currently, I think, at 8,000,000 and bigger than many countries, I live in a county of 130,000. The first time I brought my wife up here and driving from the Sacramento airport through Sacramento county (1,500,000), she asked where the people were. From the air when leaving Sacramento, you can't blink or you will have missed it. I am not saying that there is a virtue in the density and size of the LA area - just making a contrast.
Anyway the big controversy here is that people are moving here and the ones that moved here yesterday don't want to be inconvenienced by the people moving here today and particularly those who might move here tomorrow. For some reason, five years ago a Sacramento judge decided that the county plan was unacceptable and it took until now for the supervisors to address the shortcomings. No new development since. The NIMBY's now have forced a ballot proposition hoping to kill the new plan because no new development is allowed without one. I don't know what to expect the outcome to be but I would like some more development because they would have to improve the roads and we might get some more interesting shopping in town without shlepping to tony Roseville 20 miles away on surface streets.
It amazes me that when in LA, it never crossed my mind that I had the slightest possibility of influencing anything that happened- even in the small town where I lived. Here I have hope that I can. It may be only a statistical illusion but one out of 130,000 seems possible where one out of 8,000,000 is like winning the lottery.


Laura said...

As someone who has lived in the foothills for most of my life, let me explain to you why most folks here don't want to encourage development. If we wanted the city, all those shops and congestion and crime, we'd live in the city. But we don't. That's why we live in these smaller communities. We like looking around and seeing grass and trees and blues skies. We like not being scared to walk down the street alone, at night. We like not seeing cement every where we turn. That's the whole point of not living in a big city. You have to give up a few things to gain the serenity and enjoyment. If you don't like it, move to a more developed area. Don't advocate the paving over of every hill and every forest.

Ralph said...

I don't want to pave over all the nature that is here. It is not by accident that we picked our community, but it is well planned - with much open space. There is going to be development, however, whether I like it or not and without the opportunity for development we won't get the infrastructure to match the development that has already happened.
There are some wonderful communities farther up the Sierra foothills which have the delightful charactersitics you describe. They are farther than a reasonable commute to my job permits even someone accustomed to LA commuting and likely to stay much the same for that reason.
Thanks for your comment. I do understand your perspective. My hope is that good planning here can provide an acceptable compromise between nature and urban.

Bill Lama said...

You are so right about Los Angeles. How can such sprawl be so congested? The real estate numbers came out today for LA County. The median home price is $475,000 and the person who buys it needs a down payment of $95,000 and a yearly income of $110,000. Only 17% of the people can afford the median home. Of course Palos Verdes is much worse. But at least it is not yet so crowded. Since retiring, I hardly ever leave the hill.

I do think it is possible to influence things in Palos Verdes. I was elected one year ago to the Library Board and believe I am making a difference. Will blog about the controversies some day. They say that "all politics are local" so one needs to work hardest in town.