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  #961  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:07 PM
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Lakewood initiative to limit housing growth tentatively gains enough signatures to mo

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  #962  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:16 PM
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Slow growth anti-housing initiatives are the left's version of climate change denialism. It's a disaster for the environment and for equity. The left must come to terms with this.
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  #963  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:23 PM
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Cirrus, while I agree with you, what's your reply to those who say "We need affordable housing for all, not fugly boxes for the rich. These boxes are ruining the city and their materials are killing the environment?" There is an element of truth in there; housing costs are going up faster than wages.
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  #964  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Slow growth anti-housing initiatives are the left's version of climate change denialism. It's a disaster for the environment and for equity. The left must come to terms with this.
I doubt these Lakewood people are coming at this from the left.
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  #965  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:53 PM
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I doubt these Lakewood people are coming at this from the left.
They're definitely coming from the left in say ... Boulder, or other places like San Francisco.
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  #966  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 7:10 PM
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I think the big difference is that climate change deniers on the right are willfully ignorant, while NIMBY's on the left are less likely to have an understanding of the negative impacts of their anti development policies.

There is all sorts of information about anthropogenic global warming out there, and you see them talking about it in the news all the time. To deny the reality of anthropogenic global warming you really need to stick your head in the sand. The negative impacts of NIMBY measures are much less publicized. Besides fringe articles in the Atlantic, you never really see any discussion of this issue in the media. I think most anti development liberals don't understand the impact of their policies.
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  #967  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 7:53 PM
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I think the big difference is that climate change deniers on the right are willfully ignorant, while NIMBY's on the left are less likely to have an understanding of the negative impacts of their anti development policies.

There is all sorts of information about anthropogenic global warming out there, and you see them talking about it in the news all the time. To deny the reality of anthropogenic global warming you really need to stick your head in the sand. The negative impacts of NIMBY measures are much less publicized. Besides fringe articles in the Atlantic, you never really see any discussion of this issue in the media. I think most anti development liberals don't understand the impact of their policies.
I think you're right about this. In one of my Political Science classes at CU a few years ago, we had a guest lecture by a man named Al Bartlett. As a lifelong Boulder resident, it really opened my eyes to the ideological underpinning of the local anti-development sentiment. It is very much rooted in well-intentioned ideas about over population and growth, but in my mind takes it to some very unproductive conclusions. His essential premise that human growth and consumption is unsustainable and cannot continue at its current rate forever is undeniable from a mathematical standpoint (notice that his profession was physics, not urban planning). And in the 1970s, the idea of establishing physical limits to growth, such as with the Boulder Open Space really was a progressive idea (can you imagine if Chautauqua and the surrounding mesas were developed into sprawling suburban neighborhoods like on the north side of Colorado Springs?).

But where this school of thought goes awry is where it refuses to acknowledge that small local actions don't change the macro problems of growth and consumption that Bartlett was concerned about - namely, the global growth of the human race. They are, at best, a demonstration project in the naive hope that others might follow. In fact, these strategies even give progressives an excuse to shirk their responsibility to do what they really COULD do to help these problems, like providing a sustainable solution to regional population growth, by instead causing that growth to leapfrog across the greenbelt where it manifests as a much worse form of suburban sprawl.

I think you're absolutely right that people who take this sort of "Thoreau" style approach to environmentalism don't realize the consequences of their actions. Old-school Boulder hippies have held tight to the idea that their anti-growth ideas are still good ones - they only wish they could have purchased and locked up all the land in a 100-mile radius. There seems to be a refusal to acknowledge that these 1970s progressive ideas needed to move on with the times in the late 80s and early 90s when the tidal wave of outside growth arrived at Boulder's doorstep... when their progressive ideas should have shifted to acknowledge what the New Urbanist movement was beginning to say. Now these old liberals seem to have become quite conservative in their old age, and have simply dug in their heels to the notion that they have a "right" to protect their "lifestyle" - even if that means giving up on the things like social justice, or global environmentalism, that likely drove them when they were young. Afterall, they tried to do the right thing, and it was simply everybody else that refused to follow their example, right?
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  #968  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:10 PM
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They're definitely coming from the left in say ... Boulder, or other places like San Francisco.
Yup... I didn't bother to look at their manifesto and can't tell from the platitudes but looking over the bio's of the three "team members" they sure look like a duck, swim like a duck, and quack like a duck, so I'll assume it's a flock of NIMBY's.
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  #969  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Scottk View Post
I think the big difference is that climate change deniers on the right are willfully ignorant, while NIMBY's on the left are less likely to have an understanding of the negative impacts of their anti development policies.
True, true, true... never-the-less his point is well taken as to the outcome.
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
... It's a disaster for the environment and for equity. The left must come to terms with this.
BTW, Bloomberg carries some great ongoing topical coverage of climate change.
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/topics/climate-change
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  #970  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 10:03 PM
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Cirrus, while I agree with you, what's your reply to those who say "We need affordable housing for all, not fugly boxes for the rich. These boxes are ruining the city and their materials are killing the environment?" There is an element of truth in there; housing costs are going up faster than wages.
There are people who say you can't build your way to housing affordability, but I would tell those people you can't subsidize your way there either. Especially given that, if you don't keep the supply of market rate housing at pace with job growth, you end up having to subsidize even middle class people to afford a place to live, money that could have been better used to fight homelessness, poverty, etc.

On "ruining the city," first it's a bit subjective, though I won't deny modern architecture leaves a bit to be desired (still better than the 60s and 70s though). Secondly, neighborhood character is important, but at what cost? Like everything else it's a trade-off. Cities and regions must balance preserving character and increasing the supply of housing through infill, and when push comes to shove, giving people places to live should take priority over some abstract "that building is too tall and that makes me angry" mentality.

As for materials killing the environment, this is really just silly. Consider the counter factual where you didn't build the big box. Those people would still live somewhere, and presumably in a much more material-intensive (in per person terms) single family home out in the suburbs. In addition to using more materials, this would also be a lot more energy intensive lifestyle, as the person shunned from the walkable neighborhood now must endure long drives in suburbia to accomplish any and every daily need or task. Those things are much worse for the environment. Every person who wants to live in an urban neighborhood but can't (due to artificially imposed limitation on development) is one more person in suburbia (or Houston somewhere) doing significantly more harm to the planet, our economy, our oil dependency, air quality, etc.

A great discussion of this type of thing is here: http://marketurbanism.com/2017/01/27...al-u-s-cities/
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  #971  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by seventwenty View Post
Cirrus, while I agree with you, what's your reply to those who say "We need affordable housing for all, not fugly boxes for the rich. These boxes are ruining the city and their materials are killing the environment?" There is an element of truth in there; housing costs are going up faster than wages.
My reply:

The only way to decrease home prices is to increase supply. Those "fugly boxes for the rich" increase supply. The issue isn't the type of housing being built, it's the amount of it. Every new unit in a luxury building means one less occupied unit down-market. Basic economic history shows that attempting to curb demand (for housing at least) is damn near impossible, the only way out of this is by building.

Recognizing that there really is no such thing as "high end product" is also important. Over time it just becomes units available for sale/rent.

If you're serious about affordability the answer in every case is to do everything you can to encourage building things.
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  #972  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2017, 10:51 PM
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A great discussion of this type of thing is here: http://marketurbanism.com/2017/01/27...al-u-s-cities/
1) I never prefer comparing Denver to SF, NYC or DC - for many good reasons. 2) I don't think it's the duty of liberals to solve all of the world's social issues.

Neither do I have a passion for liberal or conservative elite NIMBY's... HOWEVER in the interest of erring on the side of caution I do think preserving the character of the neighborhood is vital - as general point.

Context is Everything with me and since you are unfamiliar with Denver they have redone their zoning with areas of stability and areas of change etc. With respect to the suburb of Lakewood wanting to arbitrarily limit population growth well that looks like THIS.
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Originally Posted by enjo13 View Post
The only way to decrease home prices is to increase supply. Those "fugly boxes for the rich" increase supply. The issue isn't the type of housing being built, it's the amount of it. Every new unit in a luxury building means one less occupied unit down-market. Basic economic history shows that attempting to curb demand (for housing at least) is damn near impossible, the only way out of this is by building.

Recognizing that there really is no such thing as "high end product" is also important. Over time it just becomes units available for sale/rent.

If you're serious about affordability the answer in every case is to do everything you can to encourage building things.
Very well said, I wholeheartedly agree... except where it comes to destroying the character of neighborhoods. Then I equivocate.
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  #973  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 1:42 AM
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Has this project been mentioned before? Sorry if it has. There is so much development going on.

Developer plans 12-story apartment tower for Jefferson Park

BusinessDen

http://www.businessden.com/2017/08/0...efferson-park/

Jefferson Park is rising to a 12-story peak.

Apartment developer Argyle Residential bought a 0.8-acre site at West Byron Place and Alcott Street last week for $5.7 million. Preliminary filings with the city show plans to build a 12-story tower overlooking Interstate 25, which would be among the tallest structures in the neighborhood.



http://www.meekspartners.com/project...c=aGlnaC1yaXNl
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  #974  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 3:33 AM
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Quote:
what's your reply to those who say "We need affordable housing for all, not fugly boxes for the rich. These boxes are ruining the city and their materials are killing the environment?"
> We need affordable housing for all

Yes. For ALL. The only way to achieve that is to build enough housing to satisfy demand in the places with high demand.

If 10 people want to live in an area with only 6 houses, that means 4 people don't get to live there. Usually it's the 4 poorest. If you have an affordable housing program that subsidizes 1 or 2 of the units, the result is still that 4 people don't get live there. All you've done is swap out 2 of the people who got homes for 2 of the people who didn't, but the root problem remains. The only actual solution is to build 4 more homes.

This is simple math and no amount of wishful thinking changes it.

> not fugly boxes for the rich

So change your zoning to allow vastly more units, but smaller ones, to legalize building middle-class housing. Developers build what we legalize via zoning. Change the zoning.

What's that? Crickets?

> These boxes are ruining the city

So your aesthetic preferences are more important than building enough housing for all? Wow that's a very privileged opinion. You must already have decent housing.

Enact some design guidelines then, so new development looks the way you want. Totally doable. Doesn't address the root problem of not building enough to satisfy the need for housing for all.

> their materials are killing the environment?

Laughable. What's killing the environment is pushing a million middle-class people who want to live in the city out to places like Castle Rock and Longmont where they wipe out miles of habitat, where they have to drive 30 miles to do anything, and where their carbon footprint is three times city-dwellers'. Unless you propose killing a few billion people to reduce the population, the most environmentally-friendly way for humans to live is in dense cities.

Quote:
I doubt these Lakewood people are coming at this from the left.
Their materials look liberal enough. Regardless, their specific example doesn't matter all that much to my general statement. Lakewood is hardly the only place this is an issue.
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Last edited by Cirrus; Aug 2, 2017 at 3:55 AM.
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  #975  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 4:12 AM
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Here's the problem I have with these valid counterpoints, though: This Lakewood proposal is a ballot initiative in a low voter turnout election. The people who are most fervently going to support it will vote and get others to do so. How do you counter fear of change on an emotional level?
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  #976  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 4:49 AM
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Here's the problem I have with these valid counterpoints, though: This Lakewood proposal is a ballot initiative in a low voter turnout election. The people who are most fervently going to support it will vote and get others to do so. How do you counter fear of change on an emotional level?
With an equal emotional response. Maybe push the specter of increased property taxes pricing longtime residents out of their neighborhoods? Boulderification might be an effective message as well.
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  #977  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 5:15 AM
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Of course you're right. Now you're talking strategy. I think shame should be a part of it. Well-meaning progressive liberals (who may or may not be this Lakewood group) should not get a free pass to sleep self-righteously at night if they're going to engage in this destructive behavior. NIMBYs shouldn't get to call themselves environmentalists without a bunch of serious environmentalists breaking out in laughter. This is why I say it's analogous to climate change denialism. Nobody on the left wants to be that fool.

What would work in Lakewood, specifically? I haven't the foggiest. I'm pessimistic about it.
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  #978  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 5:47 AM
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Of course you're right.
New profile quote.
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  #979  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 2:20 PM
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Slow growth anti-housing initiatives are the left's version of climate change denialism. It's a disaster for the environment and for equity. The left must come to terms with this.
As a self-identified liberal, I agree with you. We only have to look to Boulder to see what happens when slow, anti-housing initiatives are in place. Boulder has practically cut out the people who made it "Boulder" and created a playground for millionaires.
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  #980  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2017, 2:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
> We need affordable housing for all

Yes. For ALL. The only way to achieve that is to build enough housing to satisfy demand in the places with high demand.

If 10 people want to live in an area with only 6 houses, that means 4 people don't get to live there. Usually it's the 4 poorest. If you have an affordable housing program that subsidizes 1 or 2 of the units, the result is still that 4 people don't get live there. All you've done is swap out 2 of the people who got homes for 2 of the people who didn't, but the root problem remains. The only actual solution is to build 4 more homes.

This is simple math and no amount of wishful thinking changes it.

> not fugly boxes for the rich

So change your zoning to allow vastly more units, but smaller ones, to legalize building middle-class housing. Developers build what we legalize via zoning. Change the zoning.

What's that? Crickets?

> These boxes are ruining the city

So your aesthetic preferences are more important than building enough housing for all? Wow that's a very privileged opinion. You must already have decent housing.

Enact some design guidelines then, so new development looks the way you want. Totally doable. Doesn't address the root problem of not building enough to satisfy the need for housing for all.

> their materials are killing the environment?

Laughable. What's killing the environment is pushing a million middle-class people who want to live in the city out to places like Castle Rock and Longmont where they wipe out miles of habitat, where they have to drive 30 miles to do anything, and where their carbon footprint is three times city-dwellers'. Unless you propose killing a few billion people to reduce the population, the most environmentally-friendly way for humans to live is in dense cities.

Their materials look liberal enough. Regardless, their specific example doesn't matter all that much to my general statement. Lakewood is hardly the only place this is an issue.
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