For a second this morning I thought the O-D Editors may have finally seen the light:
"We want real growth, not just sprawl. When suburbs spread outward without really growing, municipal services are stretched over a larger area but there's no corresponding growth in the tax base to support the increased costs. And we've all seen retailers simply move from an older shopping complex to a new one leaving empty eyesores behind."
Of course, this is exactly what's occurred in Oneida County over the last 40 years: A shrinking population (encouraged by state and local policies) spread itself over so much acreage that it's become difficult to afford municipal services. New development sprung up in New Hartford, leaving decaying areas behind in Utica. But given the jurisdictional boundaries, Utica took the tax hit and New Hartford got the benefit.
Now older parts of NH will be hit as development spreads up the new "840" into undeveloped parts of NH and ... Whitestown. Is NH afraid of suffering the same fate as Utica? Will it eventually lose tax revenue to Whitestown? Now that it may hit the pocketbooks of the editors, does this underlie their sudden concern for regional planning?
Regardless of the motivation, it's a good recommendation -- better late than never.
But wait! There's more to read ...
... about the 840: "it makes way for development of thousands of acres in rural areas of Whitestown, Westmoreland and Kirkland. . . These communities will need to work in concert if they hope to maximize the growth potential that exists along this new corridor."
I guess they did't get it after all. They will try to "maximize the growth potential" in the hinterland ... while the population continues to decline! ... I guess it does not matter to them that their OWN "Next Step" ZOGBY POLL showed: that the PEOPLE want UTICA to be the region's hub. Any regional planning needs to have that as its focus ... but everyone knows that it will never happen. A regional hub in Utica is obviously not the O-D editors' concern.
See the complete OD editorial at Area needs regional growth plan
Technorati Tags: Mohawk+Valley Regionalization Utica