Stanford plan may mean big bump in traffic
Original post made
on Aug 16, 2007
With a voluminous application submitted Monday to the city of Palo Alto, Stanford Medical Center officials revealed additional details about one of the biggest development projects ever proposed in Palo Alto.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Thursday, August 16, 2007, 3:24 PM
Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 19, 2007 at 11:09 pm
"There are reasons why some of us want other to believe the myths of urban growth"
There sure are, your mythical list if "myths" prove your point.
There is a logical concept called "circular reasoning" - it's a subset of "begging the question" - much of your post is a perfect example of this kind of reasoning.
Seriously, you have failed in your deconstuction, and only shown what has been uttered about no-growth zealots o be closer to accurate, than not...
Let's look at Gerald's "myths" with a fast once-over (time constraint. prevent a detailed response, but this should do)
Gerald's - Myth 1: Growth provides needed tax revenues. Check out the tax rates of cities larger than yours. There are a few exceptions but the general rule is: the larger the city, the higher the taxes. That's because development requires water, sewage treatment, road maintenance, police and fire protection, garbage pickup -- a host of public services. Almost never do the new taxes cover the new costs. Fodor says, "the bottom line on urban growth is that it rarely pays its own way."
Then, how is it that larger, well-managed municipalities appear to excel in quality of life, public safety, opportunity (commercial and otherwise), and resident satisfaction?
Myth 2: We have to grow to provide jobs. But there's no guarantee that new jobs will go to local folks. In fact they rarely do. If you compare the 25 fastest growing cities in the U.S. to the 25 slowest growing, you find no significant difference in unemployment rates. Creating more local jobs ends up attracting more people, who require more jobs.
How is it Gerald, that a new job going to a non-resident gets computed as a minus?
Myth 3: We must stimulate and subsidize business growth to have good jobs. A "good business climate" is one with little regulation, low business taxes, and various public subsidies to business. A study of areas with good and bad business climates (as ranked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the business press) showed that states with the best business ratings actually have lower growth in per capita incomes than those with the worst. This surprising outcome may be due to the emphasis placed by good-business-climate states on investing resources in businesses rather than directly in people."
Please Gerald, provide a list of those states with the "best business climates". ::) I've seen these studies, and they list states like Mississippi and other backwards areas as great opportunities. Why? WOuld lower paid, uneducated populations have anything to do with it?
Myth 4: If we try to limit growth, housing prices will shoot up. Sounds logical, but it isn't so. A 1992 study of 14 California cities, half with strong growth controls, half with none, showed no difference in average housing prices. Some of the cities with strong growth controls had the most affordable housing, because they had active low-cost housing programs.
1992? Gerald, A 15-year-old study? Come on! What cities are you talking about? Please convince me that stangnating growth here will lead to lower cost housing, while MAINTAINING the price of current housing. I want to see that algorithm.
Myth 5: Environmental protection hurts the economy. According to a Bank of America study the economies of states with high environmental standards grew consistently faster than those with weak regulations. The Institute of Southern Studies ranked all states according to 20 indicators of economic prosperity (gold) and environmental health (green) and found that they rise and fall together. Vermont ranked 3rd on the gold scale and first on the green, while Louisiana ranked 50th on both.
Gerald, who here is arguing for less environmental safety, or protection? In fact, all I see from no-growth zealots is sky-is-falling projections about impacts that NEVER happen. This is a consistent losing point for the no-growthers here - time-after-time, project-after-project.
Myth 6: Growth is inevitable. There are constitutional limits to the ability of any community to put walls around itself. But dozens of municipalities have capped their population size or rate of growth by legal regulations based on real environmental limits and the real costs of growth to the community.
Gerald, please name those cities - even a few of them. This should be an iinteresting list.
Myth 7: If you don't like growth, you're a NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) or an ANTI (against everything) or a gangplank-puller (right after you get aboard). These accusations are meant more to shut people up than to examine their real motives. A NIMBY is more likely to be someone who cares enough about the future of his or her community to get out and protect it."
Gerald, there IS a no growth lobby here that IS NIMBYist in its thinking. All no-growthers are not irrational people, but the ones that have dominated discussion on this topic in PA in recent years are near the extreme. Palo Alto has lost retail, housing, and other opportunities due to the diligent work of a few dozen no-growthers here. Funny, I rarely see newcomers to Palo Alto in the no-growth meetings. I mostly see people with "we've got ours, and we're gonna keep it" mentalities. They use every trick in the book to keep development from happening; they criticize facade design on projects to a faretheewell - it's absurd.
Myth 8: Most people don't support environmental protection. Polls and surveys have disproved this belief for decades; Examples from Oregon, Los Angeles, Colorado, and the U.S in general indicate that the fraction of respondents who say environmental quality is more important than further economic growth almost always tops 70 percent.
Who said that? Not one poster on this list has made this claim, that you're trying to disprove. Straw man, anyone?
Myth 9: We have to grow or die. This statement is tossed around lightly and often, but if you hold it still and look at it, you wonder what it means. Several economic studies have fund out that many kinds of growth cost more than the benefits they bring. So the more growth, the poorer we get. That kind of growth will kill us.
Gerald, the kind of growth we're talking about in Palo Alto is a NECESSARY part of taking our city forward. What I see in this "myth" - and almost all the other "myths" you point out - are assumptions about growth that you MIS-ATTRIBUTE to those who are tired of hearing "no" everytime a promising development is proposed. So far, EVERY development that has been opposed, and eventually built, has ADDED quality to our community. Sand Hill Road, 800 High Street, etc. etc. Look at the CURRENT legacy of the no-growthers - Alma PLaza and Edgewood Plaza. Does that tell you anything.
Myth 10: Vacant land is just going to waste. Studies from all over show that open land pays far more -- often twice as much -- in property taxes than it costs in services. Cows don't put their kids in school; trees don't put potholes in the roads. Open land absorbs floods, recharges aquifers, cleans the air, harbors wildlife, and measurably increases the value of property nearby. We should pay it for to be there. This is for those misguided souls who believe that Stanford should just be allowed to develop their land while ignoring the impact on the surrounding communities.
Gerald, please - you're making it sound as if Stanford wants to pave over the foothills. We should be GRATEFUL for the open space that Stanford has given us. If anything, Stanford's husbandry of its open space HAS BEEN a benefit to surrounding communities.
Myth 11: Beauty is no basis for policy. One of the saddest things about municipal meetings is their tendency to trivialize people who complain that a proposed development will be ugly. Dollars are not necessarily more real or important than beauty. In fact beauty can translate directly into dollars. For starters, undeveloped surroundings can add $100,000 to the price of a home.
Gerald, undeveloped surroundings can also **subtract** $100K from a home. This is a parsed "myth" if I ever saw one. It's also VERY selective parsing.
Myth 12: Environmentalists are just another special interest. A developer who will directly profit from a project is a special interest. A citizen with no financial stake is fighting for the public interest, the long term, the good of the whole community.
:) With one swipe you zero out those with special interests, and further assume that not having a special interest - unless is some "mythical" community interest - is somehow "sacred"? Very self-serving, indeed.
Like I said above, you have put forward a surfeit of circular reasoning here...