Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Jokers to the right... .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Monday, February 28, 2005

Jokers to the right...

For those of us who have an affinity for the atmosphere and lifestyle of the tropics but still want to drive to get there, we have a haven in south Florida. From Miami to Key West, the flavor of the Carribean is alive and well.

And though developers have drained and paved everything possible by law, there are yet a few wetlands bordering the Everglades that are currently protected from development by something called the Urban Development Boundary, or UDB.

This boundary is a line that runs north and south through Miami-Dade county. It was established thirty years ago to provide a buffer between farmland and the Everglades from the urban sprawl that's occurring all over south Florida.

Now developers and their lobbyists are attempting to move or remove the UDB in order to build sardine-can subdivisions in these protected areas.

'The population is crying out for development, and I think we will represent the population well.''
--- Stuart Miller, CEO of Lennar Corp. (developer)

ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

I'm sorry, but this is too funny! I can just imagine Floridians storming the capital, demanding new subdivisions.

Even in the mainstream press, they're bemoaning the loss of one of the last remaining natural ecosystems in the southern U.S. And then there's the numerous news reports on Everglades refugees, namely amphibians and reptiles, invading existing subdivisions that now occupy their former habitats.

The developers, who have begun purchasing land on the protected side of the line, have the audacity to claim that their goal is to keep housing prices low, thereby allowing for low and middle class citizens to buy homes.

Can I see a show of hands of those who think these new home will be affordable to low and middle class homebuyers? Anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so.

Maybe they think that affluent homebuyers will move out of existing subdivisions for a chance at waterfront property, selling their old homes (which, by the way, the developers have already profited from) at a lower price. Yeah, that's more like it.

It's pure, unadulterated greed - nothing more.

Taking into account the nightmare effects that further development will have on hurricane evacuation, the public (i.e. tax supported) cost of providing infrastructure, and the fact that land outside of the protected area is projected to handle the growing population through the year 2020, does it make sense to anyone other than the developers to open this can of worms?

Florida's citizens have banded together to form an alliance, called Hold the Line, against these developers and their lobbyists. The alliance includes not only environmentalists, but housing rights activists, homeowner groups, and social service providers.

For more information, or to join the Hold the Line campaign, go to www.udbline.com, or call 305-213-4348.

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