Growth Management Initiative Overthrows Community Control

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by Russ Shasky

Phoenix

I read the Citizens for Growth Management Initiative word for word. It made me sick. What a blatant disregard for our individual rights.

These people are out to make this country more socialistic and dictatorial from the state level, which erodes our individual rights.

The bottom line on the initiative is that all of the feel-good things in the initiative, such as making developers assure and protect our water supplies, are already in place and enforced by local and county governments.

The Sierra Club will use these feel-good things that are already in place to get the public to vote for its initiative in order to get its main agenda in place, which is to severely limit growth.

The initiative, if passed, will effectively strip away and repeal most of the recently passed house bill for "Growing Smarter" and place new language that limits development to growth boundary areas by Jan. 01, 2003. The worst part of the initiative, if passed, is that it will practically wipe out the possibility of building affordable housing, which is contrary to the initiative's purported purpose.

If the Citizens for Growth Management Initiative is passed, it will do the following things, that affect you:

1. The initiative will put an end to affordable development of commercial, residential, industrial and other land uses more than 20 acres in size that are not in a growth management area. For example: You will not be able to buy a house in the country with a septic system for your sewer unless a 4/5ths vote from the jurisdictional agency approves this use in the subdivision. The Department of Environmental Quality already regulates septic systems effectively.

2. The initiative will compress development into 10-year "growth rings" which will severely limit your ability to choose where you might live and work next. For example, a 10-year growth ring in most cities and towns could easily be an area less then five miles wide.

3. The initiative will create "haves" and "have nots" by stripping away land-owner property rights and turning them over to the government by requiring a 4/5ths majority vote by jurisdictional agencies to develop property less than 20 acres, outside the growth management area. An exception for development more than 20 acres requires a vote at the next regularly scheduled state or local election!

4. The initiative will take away effective checks and balances already in place at the local and county level of government and replace them in the hands of Big Brother, the state government's attorney general, telling us what we can and can't do in our cities, towns and counties. What kind of government is this?

5. The initiative will scare away new businesses, which means lost jobs and individual economic security.

6. The initiative will chase away existing businesses, which means unemployment and economic uncertainty.

7. The initiative, if passed, will be a severe step in the erosion of individual land-owner rights by allowing the state and citizens nowhere near your property or the community you live in to tell you what you can and cannot develop in your community.

I highly encourage all of you to read the Citizens for Growth Management Initiative and not their self-indulgent spin control hype.

I think the CGMI backers are out of control by implying that developers don't pay for the costs of roads, schools and fire-protection facilities, when they do pay for it through impact fees, development agreements, donations and outright construction.

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