Not long after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, when the banks rolled out the Ponzi scheme called “mortgage-based derivatives” in the early Y2K years, and the building boom with its cheap and easy money swept across the land, Madison County leadership showed the foresight to bring degreed planners onto the county staff, in a laudable effort to get in front of expected growth with a “smart” growth agenda.
Those planners promoted, among other things, ideas like “walk-able” developments, residential developments with shared open spaces and sidewalks where moms could take toddlers out in strollers without having to fend for space with every speeding SUV careening to the corner store on a beer run, with every errant driver whose eyes are diverted by little lighted screens.
Developers then met those planners’ proposals with howls of protest. “You want me to give away land?”, one whined. “Tree huggers!”, growled another. “Socialist!”, barked a third.
Now that building activity has resumed, there is opportunity for county leadership to demonstrate a “family friendly” stance in the face of more burgeoning development.
Why not amend subdivision regs to require sidewalks on every new residential major subdivision submission?
How can the county promote itself as family friendly when almost all of its newer residential developments are still patently dangerous places for residents to go for a walk?