Letter- ZPG for the city
I am amazed that nobody has questioned the push by Maurice Cox and Kevin Lynch to increase the population of the city [News, "Tricky triangle," December 5] (http://www.readthehook.com/92823/news-tricky-triangle-locals-tangle-over...). There is no good reason to try and shoehorn more bodies into the few open spaces left in our small, landlocked city.
The city cannot annex more of the county, so buildings created to house the new people will have to go on the little bit of open land, or they are going to have to demolish existing structures and build taller ones. The intersection of Preston, Tenth, and Grady needs to be fixed, not paralyzed by a building in the middle of it.
The reasons for the policy that have been presented by Cox are shallow and without any real basis. You quoted him as saying, "If we don't develop, Charlottesville will be overwhelmed by developments on our doorsteps." What does he mean, anyway?
Bryan Mckenzie wrote a column in the Progress about this and apparently spoke to Cox about it. McKenzie wrote that the city population must grow because the county population is growing. Why is this a reason? We don't need to keep up with their population growth.
The county is actively promoting "urban infill" as a way to keep development out of the rural areas. Cox is acting like the seventh member of the Albemarle Board Of Supervisors.
I remember when Cox was first elected. He called Charlottesville a "laboratory for innovations," referring to his new urbanist vision (hallucination?) for the city. I am not his guinea pig, and I believe that his experiments may do permanent harm to the town, making it a less pleasant and, ironically, much more expensive place to live.
Development in Albemarle has already dramatically increased the actual number of people in town. It's been a bonanza for the city because all those county folks spend a lot in city businesses and so generate a lot of tax revenue while not costing the city much.
Many people believe that if more people live in town, the city will have a greater tax base and will get more tax revenue. Not true. More people living in town doesn't necessarily mean more tax money. In fact, it can mean a net decrease, as the public school and other costs generated by the new residents can exceed the taxes (real estate, personal property) they pay.