The sentiment "a rising tide lifts all boats" is great as long as the tide rises. In Gabe's first installment on this piece there was a link to a study conducted a decade ago, below is the link.
On page 19 there are projections for population growth of Victoria County. The most conservative projection was a 6.9% growth from 2000 to 2010. The most agressive was a 13.8% growth. The REALITY is a modest 3.2% growth (www.quickfacts.census.gov), less then half the most conservative projection.
The projections were then revised downward in 2005 based on actual population at the time. These revised projections were the basis for planning for the next 5 years. The revised projections called for a 4.5% growth from 2005 to 2010, the actual growth was only 1.5%.
If dollars are spent based on projections of population growth that is 2 to 3 times the actual growth, who gets to "pay the piper" if the population DOESN'T grow but the debt DOES? There are many who believe that the economy over the next several years is going to be worse than the last two. I hope all local leadership errs to the conservative side and does not over commit an already burdened tax payer. See another article posted today on more proposed city fee increases.
Zoning can be grandfathered, and Victoria's lack of zoning is extreme at the other end. Zone, please, but not to the nth degree.
The theory behind zoning is to prevent the problem Victoria already has. Trailor homes next to $300,000.00 homes. Also, to prevent metal and tin portable buildings thrown up all up and down Navarro......and people have the gaul to call them "new construction". hahaha.... Awful! Unfortunately because of the lack of zoning, this town is unsightly. If you want to look like Sugarland or Katy or nice areas such as Round Rock, Bee Caves, northern parts of San Antonio, and many places in the greater Metro-plex then yes zoning is an absolute MUST! Long, long overdue here. Grandfather clause should apply, but from here on out PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE zone!
I believe the comments by HookEm1 brings out a truly sensitive subject--zoning. I believe I understand what they are saying.
Often zoning causes areas of blight within cities by restricting the construction of new businesses in areas zoned residential or new construction of housing in areas zoned commercial.
And zoning is similar to being in a homeowners assoication, in one the assoication controls your use of your property and the city controls your use of your property with zoning.
Does your advocacy of zoning include a 'Grandfather Clause' for all existing land owners, or will they be retro-actively restricted in their property use?
If a current business-person (who contributes to the 'local economy') is located in an area which is later zoned as residential, will they be forced to close? Do you propose that existing land owner go before a board and request a variance in order to use their property as they see fit? In this case, will the property owner's sucess or failure be based on how many friends he has?
There are as many disadvantages to zoning as there are advantages, and zoning does not always protect property values. Just ask any home owner who has had an opportunity to sell his home to a commercial concern.
What zoning does do is give control of private property to a select few politicians and government employees and place restrictions on the property owner. In my opinion, this is too high a price to pay for the benefits received.
I agree with you that the locations for VWHS and VEHS are terrible ... but I suggest to you, all things considered, that they would have ended up in the sme place, with or without zoning.
Unfortunately, without zoning, growth in this town will be unmanageable and Victoria will become an even uglier city than it is.
Without zoning this city will look like most of Houston.
With zoning Victoria could look more like a SugarLand.
Zoning dictates where certain kinds of businesses can be built. Dictates where certain types of housing structures can be built and this is all used to help manage infrastructure growth.
For instance, if you have zoning, then apartments are built within walking distance of the business district to encourage people to walk to work rather than drive, this reduces the need for roadways keeping taxes lower. Industries are located in areas where it is safer to locate them.
There are many benefits to zoning and this city is a reflection of what the lack of zoning can produce.
Currently this city has very little vision and struggles with managing its growth, especially as evidenced along Navarro.
Zoning is very much an integral part of long term planning as well as current and future land use.
Zoning also could have dictated better locations for VWHS and VEHS. Locations that would have resulted in less traffic issues and encouraged more students to walk to school thus lowering the costs associated with busing.
Zoning also helps protect property values, especially for home owners.
I have to stand at Discount Tire because the chairs in the waiting room are perpetually occupied, I quit eating popcorn at the movie theater because the lines are so long, and I just about have to have a reservation to eat lunch or dinner at Chili's.
Is this all just normal or has the 'boom' already begun? Discount Tire is already building a third store to handle their lack of available chairs, but how about another movie theatre and another Chili's - especially if we're going to experience any more growth.
I want to see Victoria grow. All these changes are exciting. Maybe one day we will get a World Market.