So you’ve heard me talk about my nice little town a couple of times, I imagine.

There’s a downtown–basically two streets with a traffic circle–a couple of restaurants, the co-op, the coffee shop I write at, and up the road a mile or two, where the interstate is, a big-box hardware store. It’s NICE. We’re the county seat, so there’s a couple government buildings, but we’re a super rural county so they’re not big.

I live in the woods, surrounded by pastures. The farmer I buy my meat from is about ten miles down the road. My neighbor keeps bees and has a falcon mews in the backyard. (Also trucks on blocks, because the South.) I sit in the backyard at night and there are whippoorwills and chuck-widows-wills calling.

I’ve lived here for six years, and barring occasional desires to head to the desert, I had sorta planned to die here, preferably while lying in the backyard listening to aforementioned whippoorwills.

Council just voted to nuke it from development orbit.

They just cleared the last hurdle to break ground on a planned development to house *60,000* people. This is one of those massive “planned city” developments.

A development of 5000, I could have maybe gritted my teeth, but they are literally dropping an entire CITY seven miles from my house.

Cities do not stay where you put them. Our population is slated to increase by 1900%. If I wanted to live in a gigantic suburban sprawl, I have lots and lots to choose from already, but yay, now it’s coming to me.

To say we don’t have any infrastructure to handle that is laughably understating the case. It’s just…insane. I mean, the primary road into the area is a four lane highway over a lake, and the road into town is two lanes with a traffic circle and a stoplight. And the developers are being super “It’s fiiiiiine, don’t worry your pretty little head about things like water quality, those rules only apply to people on wells, we’re building sewers next to the lake and the Haw River and that means we can cram LOTS OF PEOPLE IN and you should just relaaaaax. We’re professionals.”

(Nevermind HOW the county is somehow supposed to dredge up the money for all the infrastructure that this place wants…)

And they own all the land, so we can’t buy it away. Rezoning stalled them for over a year, but people sang “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” and this was the last ditch and it just ended last night. They break ground in sixty days, and start building houses in eighteen months.

It’s supposed to take thirty years, to hit full capacity, but I am so discouraged. I feel like I’m in mourning for the town. The only bright spot is that our property values are supposed to go up, which is sort of like ‘Your horse is going to die, but good news! Dogmeat’s selling at an all time high!’


5 thoughts on “Mourning

  1. Darla says:

    A while back I had the opportunity to chat with some folks who’ve lived their whole lives in Branson, Missouri. I asked them how they liked all the growth, and promptly got an earful. They expressed some of the same sentiments you feel, and I completely agree. They raised their kids in Branson – a small town then – and felt crowded and invaded by all the development.

    I moved from Houston, Texas – then population 5 million – to a little town in Arkansas with 500 people in it on a good day. It’s a whole different world. For all its conveniences, I don’t know if I could ever live in a big city again.

    Creating gardens is an investment not just of sweat and money but also of hope, of faith that tomorrow you’ll still be able to putter around in said garden, and the next day, and the next. It takes years for a garden to come into its own.

    Seems to me that something like this would be a big blow to the faith that things will stay peaceful enough for you to WANT to invest in that garden, and that’s a very sad thing.

  2. RhianimatorLGP says:

    It’s not California, so you can’t throw an endangered species monkey wrench into the works. At least your city council hasn’t yet decided yes they can build the infrastructure and right through your house, we’ll take that, thank you very much and pay you 10% of market value. No you don’t get a say in it. Eminent Domain is especially evil when the government in question is in the pocket of a developer.

  3. Kettlesmith says:

    I hear you. I am still disgruntled that all the current construction of townhouse communities were planned out in the 90s by my county. Housing downturn slowed a lot of it, building loans killed a lot of others. And the county got burned a couple times and now requires that the developers put in the roads and sidewalks and sewer themselves and pay an extra fee for additional schools and police and fire and all that stuff. But we are suburbia.

    When I was looking for houses, I avoided places in the middle of cornfields, because they were all developments waiting to be. But my job is here, so here I am.

  4. ~*Akarui Mitsukai*~ says:

    Aw, I feel you. It’s sad seeing small, old, comfortable towns grow up like that. We have enough big cities in the world. If you want that, move to one. Don’t bring your massive city to our rural area. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Idiots. 🙁 Makes me sad. The area where I live is growing up, too, so to speak. I’m sad to see all the greenery and land going. I still want to run away to Ireland at times. Haha 🙂

    Sorry your city decided to develop. Hope it develops better than planned, at least, and they decide to keep the green space/country incorporated. A city near me seems to be trying to do that, and it works better than having nasty city all around. 🙂

    Best wishes,
    ~*Akarui Mitsukai*~

  5. Cynthia, aka Gaia gardener says:

    Oh, I’m SO sorry. What a heartbreak! About the only consolation I can offer is that maybe the development won’t take off too strongly, so things won’t change too fast. The economy is still not terribly strong, at least for us “normal” people.

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