White House Right to Tell Local Zoning Boards to Be Constructive

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In the heated debate about whether or not local zoning codes are choking us, New Age urbanists who propose environmentally friendly dense developments have new fuel for the fire now that the Obama administration is chiming in.“In more and more regions across the country, local and neighborhood leaders have said yes in our backyard,” said the White House in a recent policy release. “We need to break down the rules that stand in the way of building new housing.” Accompanying the presentation was a toolkit to spell out the White House’s policy proscription, as reported in Politico.The initiative is intended to address the “local barriers to housing development” such as zoning, land-use regulations and lengthy development approval processes that have restricted the housing market’s ability to respond to growing demand. The obstacles are thereby “jeopardizing housing affordability for working families, increasing income inequality by reducing less-skilled workers’ access to high-wage labor markets and stifling GDP growth by driving labor migration away from the most productive regions.”While developers and their allies may be drooling at the prospect of relaxed zoning standards, Long Island residents who fear the worst should take comfort in the fact that the federal government can only comment about land use. It can’t impose.Here’s the thing though: The White House isn’t wrong. Local zoning can be restrictive—and often on LI that’s by design. It’s called home rule.Many people, especially those who subscribe to the theory that we must build our way out of our economic decline, conveniently forget that the Island’s zoning is philosophically rooted in groundwater protection. By reducing densities in unsewered areas, we’re preventing toxic wastewater from polluting our aquifers, the sole source of our drinking water.Environmental necessity aside, our region simply cannot handle additional density unless something changes. But the White House is right, we do need more housing, whether we care to admit it or not.Metropolitan areas such as San Francisco and New York City are seeing their blockbuster economic gains stymied by the lack of affordable housing options. As urban areas become more economically polarized and in some cases, just wealthier, the crucial middle class is left floundering for a foothold.Think about the sky-rocketing explosion of real estate prices in the outer borough areas of New York City that were traditionally havens for the less well-off and blue collar workers. Where do these people go now?The White House’s “toolkit” prescribes more density, faster permitting and fewer restrictions for developers with regard to parking and accessory dwelling units such as an apartment over a garage, for example. These recommendations are standard fare at this point, but to have them come from the federal government lends them a weight that has been previously unseen in the land use discussion.The concern is that the “tool kit” doesn’t factor in the reality of suburban living. In other words, only a relatively small percentage of suburban residents actually use mass transit. So allowing developers to get away with not providing adequate parking for the new tenants in their projects is not a good idea. Unless the developers offer their tenants some incentive to ditch their cars, the end result will be higher density with fewer places to park.The recommendations often made by developers and the vested interests in the building trade deny the fact that suburbia simply isn’t ready for higher density and all of the impacts it brings.The White House’s entry into the argument about local zoning is unprecedented, according to Dr. Lee Koppelman, who served 28 years as the first Suffolk County Planner and 41 years as the regional planner for Nassau and Suffolk, and has been the executive director of the Center for Regional Policy Studies at Stony Brook University.“NIMBYism isn’t the entire problem,” the veteran planner told the Press. “The White House is ignoring the relationship between community and environmental planning.”In his career, Koppelman has supported balanced growth in environmentally appropriate areas but he said that ignoring the consequences of increasing density can be irresponsible.“It sounds to me like the White House is touting for the real estate lobby,” Koppelman said. “Do the suburbs have the infrastructure to support growth? If not, will the federal government provide the money to build it?”Answering that question is key. We need more affordable housing, but before we loosen zoning laws and other restrictions, our policymakers, builders and residents must work together to ensure that the suburban environment can handle it.Growth should occur in the areas that are truly ready—where “walkable neighborhoods” can truly be considered walkable thanks to good jobs, adequate neighborhood services, other community amenities and nearby transit connections. Rents have been skyrocketing in urban areas like New York and San Francisco, and they need to be reined in. A frank, honest discussion must be had at all levels of governance to understand why, exactly, prices are escalating so rapidly.Gentrification may make areas that were considered “less-desirable” worthy of investment in real estate circles, but the price we all pay is accelerated displacement of the lower and middle classes. Gentrifying neighborhoods don’t solve issues of poverty or affordability, but merely push those impacted aside. We must find a way to create attractive neighborhoods without driving up prices and forcing residents out.Here policymakers must seriously consider taking unprecedented measures to attack the high cost of living on Long Island. Local school districts—the principal driver of rising property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk counties—should have their administrative models examined. Consolidation, a concept that has been a political non-starter in the past, should be considered in areas where it makes sense, such as within smaller school districts on the East End, or struggling districts in western Suffolk and Nassau. Eliminating the region’s patchwork quilt of local special taxing districts should also be explored, because it would be a small but meaningful step in the right direction.But it’s critical that these efforts aren’t an excuse to give away the farm (both literally and figuratively) to developers and their enablers. Growing too rapidly can poison our environment. We’re still struggling to overcome the consequences of the rapid suburban expansion LI went through after World War II.Good land use policy is all about achieving balance. The White House is correct to assert itself because the suburbs, ours in particular, aren’t working as effectively as they should to address these economic problems. Young families in our area shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for decent housing and jobs. But we must be smart about how we go about tinkering with the suburban model.Calling for a wholesale increase in density, as the White House proposes, wouldn’t be right, either. Growth and environmental sustainability must be taken into consideration because what we don’t need is a new kind of sprawl.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s esteemed master planner. More of his views can be found on TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

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Kim Kardashian Smirks in Vacation Photo After Larsa Pippen Interview

first_imgA smirk says it all! Kim Kardashian seemed unfazed after her once-close friend Larsa Pippen detailed their falling out for the first time.The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 40, shared four photos via Instagram on Monday, November 9, of herself smiling during a tropical vacation. “Smiles for Miles,” she captioned the post.- Advertisement – In the snaps, Kardashian wore a black bikini top with matching shorts as she posed on a beach and climbed a tree limb near the ocean.The E! personality uploaded the pictures just hours after Pippen, 46, blamed their rift on Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, during a bombshell appearance on the “Hollywood Raw” podcast.“If Kanye feels like him and Kim are better without me, then let them be without me. I’m OK with that,” she said on Monday’s episode. “I will survive. I want everyone to be happy!”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Real Housewives of Miami alum went on to claim that the “Gold Digger” rapper, 43, has “brainwashed” his wife and her famous sisters since the couple married in May 2014.“They all started to ride his wave. If you’re that easily swayed, like the wind, then do I really give a f–k? Should I give a f–k? I don’t know,” she said. “Was I hurt by it? Yes. But at the same time, I’m like, I’ve done nothing. I’ve never done one thing. I’ve been the most honest and truthful best friend to all of them.”- Advertisement – Fans noticed in July that Kardashian and Pippen unfollowed each other on Instagram, sparking rumors that the pair were no longer on good terms. At the time, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the reality stars “just naturally grew apart over a period of time” and that the KKW Beauty founder simply “wanted to reset [her feed] just to her family and childhood friends.”Pippen, however, insinuated on “Hollywood Raw” that West was behind Kardashian’s decision to unfollow her, saying, “We’re like sisters, we’re family, but if you have to unfollow me to make your home a better place, do it. He talks so much about me being this and that and this and that. I just feel like Kanye was in a place where he really didn’t trust anyone with Kim.”The former Bravo personality also alleged on the podcast that she dated Tristan Thompson before his relationship with Khloé Kardashian and that Travis Scott once called on-off girlfriend Kylie Jenner to claim that Pippen had been “hitting on him” at a nightclub. “That never freaking happened,” she insisted.Kim has yet to directly address Pippen’s claims. Scroll down to see more of her smirky vacation photos!last_img read more

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P605-K ‘shabu’ seized

first_imgAn antidrug officer inspects items seized from Reynaldo Villaespin, who was nabbed in an entrapment operation in Barangay Taculing, Bacolod City on June 13. CDEU/BCPO Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against him./PN BACOLOD City – Suspected shabu weighing about 55 grams valued at around P605,000 was seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Taculing. Resident Reynaldo Villaespin, 38, yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed.center_img The suspect was detained in the lockup cell of Police Station 6. Villaespin was nabbed after he sold a sachet of suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P500 around 3:15 a.m. on June 13, it added.last_img

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B&H Championship Title to the Handball Players of Borac

first_imgThe handball players of Borac defended the title of the champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina.In the third game of the playoffs, the players from Banja Luka triumphed over Izvidac with a result of 34:30 (17:14), and won the title for the third consecutive time.Borac celebrated in the playoffs with 3-0 in victories, and thus proved that they have no competition in B&H. (Source: novovrijeme.ba/ photo nezavisne)last_img

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Good Taste Chinese Buffett owners expect to open Saturday at 11 a.m.

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (20) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +6 Vote up Vote down hmmm….. · 317 weeks ago Nice name….. Glad it’s not Chinese Taste Good, Confucius say crazy name may bring crazy people. Report Reply 2 replies · active 317 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Caring Cherokee · 317 weeks ago I wish to express to the owners; Praying for excellence in your venture. Willing to dine at your buffet. See you a week or so after grand opening. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Rhonda · 317 weeks ago Yaaaayyyy…not! Like Wellington needs another Chinese food place. Why can’t we get an Arby ‘s, Jimmy John’s, Popeye’s, Long John Sivers or Hardees??? Report Reply 4 replies · active 316 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Yeah! · 317 weeks ago Thanks for the update kids will be happy! Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 317 weeks ago Will they offer sushi? Yummy! Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Guest · 317 weeks ago We already have an excellent Asian buffet! Report Reply 1 reply · active 317 weeks ago -4 Vote up Vote down Guest · 317 weeks ago I would love to see a golden coral open in town. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +8 Vote up Vote down Lone Wolf · 317 weeks ago At least they have a sign up by the hi-way unlike the last owners of the building and have not opened yet. Wishing them a successful venue in Wellington. Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down BLK · 317 weeks ago I will not cheat on my friends downtown! Love Sam and Mae!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Sarcasm · 317 weeks ago I wish we could get another Mexican restaurant… Maybe On the Border?!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 317 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — According to an employee working at the Good Taste Chinese Buffett today, the new Chinese Restaurant called “Good Taste Chinese Buffet” is expected to open this Saturday at 11 a.m. As always when it comes to business openings, Sumner Newscow attaches “tentative” to it. The new Chinese place is at the former Wellington Steakhouse location at 1311 E. 16th St.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

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