ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Marin County Says NIMBY - Ah, The Soul of a "Progressive" Community

From my "other blog"

H/T to The Corner at NRO

Marin County Says NIMBY

NIMBY - not in my back yard

I NEVER post anything of a political nature on this blog (my photoblog). I have other outlets for that sort of thing. But this is so California, the subject of this blog, I have to say something.Some good folks of Marin County, very rich and very "progressive," people who pride themselves on their "concern" for others, at least when someone other than themselves is impacted by that concern, are opposing a 4 house Habitat for Humanity proposal. Why? Worries about traffic... 4 houses???!!! And the effect the project will have on their property values. Look in the dictionary under "hypocrisy."

Crowd Rips Habitat for Humanity Proposal
Jim Staats
Marin Independent Journal
Article Launched:01/17/2007 12:32:33 AM PST

A growing legion of concerned neighbors in unincorporated Strawberry
voiced fear Tuesday of increased traffic and decreased home values if a Habitat
for Humanity housing development comes to the Eagle Rock neighborhood.

"It's a very, very poor place to jam four more homes like a housing
project," said Eagle Rock Road resident Debra Dealey. "And it diminishes the
value of our homes." Dealey was among about 80 people squeezed into the tiny
loft at the Strawberry Recreation Center in Mill Valley for an informational
community meeting on the project moderated by the Strawberry Design Review
Board. Echoing comments of several neighbors, Dealey described the entire
project "out of character with our neighborhood."

The San Francisco affiliate of the international organization that
builds affordable houses for low-income families has partnered with the owner of
a 16.5-acre vacant lot near the intersection of North Knoll Road, Bay Vista
Drive and Eagle Rock Road to build four affordable, single-family houses. The
proposed units would be the county's first Habitat homes. The organization
closed its Marin affiliate in the late 1990s after failing to get sufficient
community support to build Habitat houses in Marin.

The property owner, Pan Pacific Ocean Inc., plans to divide the tract
into seven parcels, building three market-rate single-family houses ranging in
size from 6,244 square feet to 7,446 square feet on lots at the top of the
sloping site. The remaining .85 acres would be used by Habitat to build four
three-bedroom houses of about 1,435 square feet, including a single-car garage.
Each Habitat house would be priced for a family of four with an annual income of
$56,000. Habitat for Humanity San Francisco executive director Phillip Kilbridge
addressed community concerns over long-term goals of its prospective homeowners.

"This is not a get-rich-quick scheme," he said. "These are for households
truly dedicated in making a difference in the community. The exact reasons you
are living there are the reasons why we want our families to live there. We can
make this four-home unit work." Johanna Patri, acting principal planner
with the county who is assigned to the project, said county officials "will be
taking into consideration all the comments of the neighborhood." She said the
project will then come back before the Strawberry Design Review Board.
Following the design review process, the project would go before the county
Planning Commission.

More than 70 residents of the neighborhood, near both Tiburon and Mill
Valley, have started to band together to raise about $100,000 for attorneys'
fees to fight the project. Neighborhood opposition is centered on lower property
values, increased traffic and parking congestion. Ed Sotelo, 83, said his main
concern was increased traffic generated by the seven new houses near an
intersection he described as a "killer corner." "Whether it's a big house or a
small house this is a dangerous situation," said Sotelo, a 50-year Eagle Rock
resident who lives on North Knoll Road across from the proposed site.

Scott Lebus, an orthodontist whose practice is in a nearby medical
building on North Knoll Road, said "those of us who work and live there know
it's not a great site for new homes." "There is no question there is a severe
shortage of affordable housing, but don't take a situation and make it worse to
improve something else," Lebus said. Bay Vista Drive resident Bill Duane, 58, a
frequent Habitat for Humanity volunteer in Florida before moving to Eagle Rock
in 1999, described the project as "a good idea gone completely wrong." "To me
it's totally against the intentions of Habitat for Humanity as I know it," he
said before Tuesday's meeting. "The intention always was to go into a blighted
neighborhood and enhance it. The end result here is the opposite. It's a lot of
good intentions gone horribly wrong."


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn