Monday, October 16, 2006


No on Proposition 1E

This is a bond measure for valley flood relief. Katrina has developers flipping out. They’ve been dropping sprawl on top of farm land now at an alarming rate for decades. All along the way environmentalists and civil engineers have been harping on a number of points, including the flood dangers, but project after project after project was rubber stamped by state, county, and municipal governments who never met sprawl they didn’t like. It’s continued unabated despite a few flooding incidents a decade ago. Now all of the sudden they’re worried that the sky might literally fall, and maybe they'll get hit with some big lawsuits.

Despite a few bones thrown to other areas, the vast bulk of these 4 billion in bonds will go to the valleys. And really, there’s only so much they can do. It’s a valley. The land is flat. There are rivers running through it. It’s not the place to build large tracts of homes.

I’m sympathetic to the folk already living there, but my feeling is that the money should come out of the hides of developers. How about some steep licensing and permit fees for future developments? If it slows the spread of the sprawl and thus revenues, so much the better. We can make up the difference in a bond initiative then.

Sorry, but given the amount of bonded debt and other issues facing the state, literally bailing out valley developers just doesn't rate as a high priority for me.

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