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July 25, 2020

Dismantling the Suburbs? [KT]

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Last night, I heard Mark Levin on the radio talking about the federal regulation of how suburbs are created and managed. This issue has been followed closely by Stanley Kurtz. From this week:

The suburbs hold the swing vote in this election. . .

Toward the end of his administration, President Obama promulgated a sweeping new rule called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). President Trump suspended enforcement of AFFH and is now in the process of entirely ending the rule. Biden, in contrast, has promised to vigorously enforce AFFH. So, what does the rule do?

AFFH is designed to put an end to single family zoning, while also pressing suburbs to build high-density low-income housing that would be occupied by residents of nearby cities. AFFH will also press suburbs into "transit oriented development," construction of dense apartments and business districts around transportation hubs, with limited parking. . .

There is more. The details are frightening. It is really quite the insidious federal takeover of local government. Some of these rules also apply to more urbanized neighborhoods. They could affect you on a personal level.

The Virus complicates this issue for the Democrats this election season. Makes mass transit and crowded conditions less attractive. But they still put these goals in writing, if not on TV.


Although none of this has been much debated by the public, Democratic lawmakers and allied urban policy experts and activists have long cherished the goals of AFFH. A whole battery of additional laws and regulations to achieve them are likely if the Democrats take power. . .

OF COURSE there has not been much public debate.

Kurtz wrote a book on this subject in 2012. Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities. Maybe people should have paid more attention. What if Hillary had won?

Some reviewers called Kurtz "evil" and "racist", of course. Here is another review:

Spreading the Wealth is a revealing look at the disturbing trend of "Regionalism" of political power which threatens to destroy the very concept of suburbs, free choice and independence from bureaucratic tyranny. Stanley Kurtz, dives deep into intellectual and political back ground of Obama's advisors, political allies and actions to create a more perfect Metropolitan government ruled by bureaucrats and intellectual elites. In this socialist urban utopia, cities will lose their individual ability to zone, tax and manage their own affairs. Such "Smart Growth" central planning, it is said, to be needed for "economic, environmental, equity" for a prosperous future. Such socialist fantasies always overlook the roll of individual liberty and constitutional rights. It has failed in Western Europe and it will most definitely fail here.

If you have never heard of "Smart Growth", you need to learn quickly. Get this book and start educating yourself.

If you live in the suburbs, you may soon be stripped of your individual liberty for the "collective (regional) good".

I don't blame you if you think this warning sounds alarmist and conspiratorial. I didn't believe it myself until I went to a local presentation by central planners. These guys are serious and want to take down suburbia to fulfill their urban utopian fantasy,.

This is Paul Revere stuff. Time to wake up suburban America.

There is also an outfit trying to make a "conservative case" for ending zoning for single family homes. Partly because your options for changing your living space are limited. And partly because suburbs depend on federal subsidies.

My head is starting to hurt with all this "federal" talk.

What do you think? Is there a way to have some local flexibility without giving the feds an "in" for more control? How much local flexibility in zoning regulations do people want? What about state requirements? They are a thing in California. How about where you live?

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This is the Thread before the Gardening Thread

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:17 AM

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