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Smart Growth: The Wolf At Your Front Door
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Smart Growth: The Wolf At Your Front Door

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How pleasant-sounding names camouflage top-down, centralized planning programs that threaten private property rights.

How pleasant-sounding names camouflage top-down, centralized planning programs that threaten private property rights.

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  • 1. The Wolf at Your Front Door Agenda 21 aka Smart Growth,Sustainable Development,Comprehensive Planning,and Livable Communities
  • 2. Overview• Official sustainable development policies are being implemented at every level of government (national, state, county, and city)• Pleasant-sounding names camouflage top-down, centralized, highly-restrictive planning programs• Public acceptance is baited by touting the programs as environmentally friendly
  • 3. What is Agenda 21?• Unveiled at the 1992 Earth Summit (the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or UNCED)• Called Sustainable Development Agenda 21• Tenets – End to national sovereignty (Obj 28.2 – implement “a local Agenda 21” – Environmental protection – Elimination of private property rights (Obj 7.28: “communally and collectively owned and managed land”) – Population growth control – birth control & restricted migration (Section II – national population carrying capacity) – Urbanization (Obj 7.18&19 – stop urban sprawl and protect open space) – Restrictions to mobility (Obj 7.52: Public transportation, bicycle paths and pedestrian – Propagandize children and build non-governmental partnerships (Section III)Source: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/
  • 4. What is Agenda 21?• Policies have been described as – “constitution of the New Green World Order” – environmentalism as its surrogate religion• Fundamentally a socialist plan to change the way we "live, eat, learn and communicate" because we must "save the earth."• Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the 1992 Earth Summit – “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.”
  • 5. 10-Year framework reviewed May 2011 at the 19th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development • Policy actions for sustainable lifestyles – Setting vision, regulatory, economic and institutional framework • Urban planning and land-use policies – Parking lots at city outskirts to encourage carpools to enter cities – Shifting roadways from cars to bicycles and public transportation – Construction policies and governmental subsidies for sustainable housing – Laundromats so people do not have to own washing machines • Traditional economic instruments – Taxes and charges – Government grants for businesses – “Education, communication and marketing sustainable consumption and lifestyles is a paramount task” • “materialism is toxic for happiness”Source: http://esa.un.org/marrakechprocess/pdf/Issues_Sus_Lifestyles.pdf
  • 6. US Adoption of Agenda 21• More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy, including the United States• U.S. policy adoption is “soft law” because it represents a commitment to a path rather than binding obligations of a ratified treaty
  • 7. President Clinton’s Executive Order• In 1993, created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development• Council’s recommendations included – “population stabilization” – replacement of technologies “from the light bulb to the power plant.”Source: http://clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/
  • 8. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities• Created in 2009, a partnership between three US federal agencies – Environmental Protection Agency – Housing and Urban Development – Transportation• EPA’s “guiding livability principles” – public transportation – energy-efficient buildings – mixed use development – local accountability for renewable energy – walkable neighborhoodsSource: http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/
  • 9. Soviet Micro Districts• Smart growth plans eerily similar to USSR Academy of Building Construction and Architecture plans in the early 1960’s (From The Soviet Review, A Journal of Translations, Volume 2, Number 4, April, 1961)• Town zoning where simplest services located on premises of residential houses or groups of houses and stemming out to public centers designed to service the population of entire districts• Each district is divided into residential compounds—micro districts--with a population of 6,000 to 10,000 – one school, a kindergarten, a nursery, a food shop, a personal service shops, a cafeteria, club, and building maintenance office.• Each micro district will have smaller residential compounds with populations of about 2,000 each – Delivery services and automatic vending machines for food – Recreation hall and house workshops• Types of residential housing – hotel-type houses for bachelors and families of two, integrated with laundromat and dance club – Apartment houses of four to five stories for medium-sized families – Two-story cottages for large families Source: http://www.freedomadvocates.org/articles/planning_-_smart_growth/smart_growth_parallels_russian_soviet_planning_20051104158
  • 10. University of Moscow planners book: “The Ideal Communist City”Source: http://falmouthcitizens.com/smart-growth/smart-growth-and-the-ideal-city/
  • 11. Creep into Farms and Rural Areas • The Dept. of Agriculture website unabashedly refers to UNCED – Protect farm and forest land from being converted to other uses – Restrictions on grazing – Wildlife protection – Wetland protection – Conservation easementsSource: http://www.usda.gov/oce/sustainable/background.htm
  • 12. • In June, Obama created the White House Rural Council to promote, among other things, “expanding opportunities for conservation…on working lands and public lands.” – 25 Cabinet Secretaries, chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture– Work to develop a conservation agenda and connect people to the outdoors– Facilitate the protection of habitat (through restoration and management) and access for hunting and fishing on public and private lands– Improve access to green space and supporting livable communities through urban and community forestry programs Source: http://www.ocfo.usda.gov/usdasp/sp2010/sp2010.pdf
  • 13. • Stalin’s Five Year Plan (1932-1933) – Stripped landowners of property – Organized citizens into communes – Centrally controlled agriculture – Increase industry (steel, iron, electric power) – Result: Famine death est at 7 million Ukrainians• Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward (1959-1961) – Stripped landowners of property – Organized citizens into communes – Centrally controlled agriculture – Increase industry (steel, iron, massive building projects) – Result: Famine death est. at 17-40 million people• Obama’s Rural Council (2011- ) – “Encourage public/private partnerships” – “Help rural communities connect regionally to collaborate” – “Expand markets for agriculture” – Increase renewable energy and conservation – Result: TBD
  • 14. “Fostering Sustainable Development”• Definition of “quality growth” – discouragement of cul-de-sacs – encouragement of pedestrian communities – reduction of urban sprawl through ¼ acre residential lots• Starter Code – zoning ordinances to “prevent land inefficient and poorly functioning strip-type development” – require a Land Use Permit to “use or occupy…any building, structure, land, water or premises.”Source: http://www.georgiaqualitygrowth.com/whatisqg.asp
  • 15. • Operates under the GA Dept. of Community Affairs• Green Communities Certification Program – Inspection program to enforce energy codes, outdoor lighting ordinances – Green space (20 acres per 1000 residents, or 8% total green space, or all residents live within ½ mile of a park – Community gardens, farmers markets – Adopt bicycle and pedestrian policies – Offer incentives for smart growth – Educate public on green communities program• Livable Centers Initiative – pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use developments, greater balance between jobs and housing• Lifelong communities – Alternatives to car, pedestrian-friendly• Promoting TSPLOST – Projects: Rail, buses, sidewalks, bicycle lanes Source: http://www.atlantaregional.com/
  • 16. Cobb County• Follows ARC’s Green Communities Program• Includes zoning ordinances for Redevelopment Overlay Districts (RODs) – Targets certain areas for conversion to mixed-used sustainable communities, and incents developers using tax abatements to follow regulation minutia • HWY 41 Corridor • Austell Rd Corridor • East Piedmont Corridor • Old Mableton AreaSource: http://www.cobbcountyga.gov/green/index.htm
  • 17. Cobb Parkway – Terrill Mill to Galleria Austell Rd – Brookwood, Mimosa, Hurt, FloydSandy Plains – East Piedmont to Post Oak Tritt Mableton – Vet Mem Hwy, Daniel, Clay, Floyd
  • 18. City of Marietta• Cobb County Bike/Pedestrian Improvement Plan• Cobb County Comprehensive Transportation Plan• Marietta Comprehensive Plan• Multi-Use Trails – trail network will connect various neighborhoods to the downtown, employment centers, as well as to the Silver Comet trail• Kennestone Area Land Use & Transportation Study• LCI (Livable Centers Initiative) – Envision Marietta LCI Delk TOD LCI Study Plan• Roswell Streetscape Project• Powder Springs Street Master PlanSource: http://www.mariettaga.gov/departments/devsvcs/planzone/studies.aspx
  • 19. Source: http://www.mariettaga.gov/departments/devsvcs/planzone/studies.aspx
  • 20. Local Govt Implement Smart Growth• Implementation tactics – zoning – ordinances – permitting – fees – park expansions – transportation corridors – endangered species – wetland restrictions – conservation easements – access restrictions – grazing limitations – hundreds of other central planning regulations and schemes
  • 21. NGOs and PPPs• Accomplices: Non-government organizations and public/private partnerships• ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Instrumental in creating Agenda 21 – Hundreds of cities using tax dollars to pay ICLEI to implement and enforce Sustainable Development – Promotes development management of virtually everything: • natural resources, energy, construction, food sources, and even employment, education, health, and social equity – Socialist organization Center for American Progress is prominently featured in ICELI’s STAR Community IndexTM brochure. Source: http://www.icleiusa.org/library/documents/STAR_Sustainability_Goals.pdf
  • 22. Community ImprovementDistricts (CIDs)• Private/public partnership: a unit of government with power to provide governmental services and facilities, tax power – Provided for in Article 9, Section VII of the Georgia Constitution, amendment providing for CIDs was approved by the voters in 1984• Town Center CID – 1997 - established to promote infrastructure improvements – 2000 - expanded purposes to include parks, recreation, land use planning – 2004 - Livable Center study, called Supurb – Supporting TSPLOST and light rail• Cumberland CID – Road construction, curbs, sidewalks, street lights, and traffic flow devices – Parks and recreational areas and facilities – Storm water and sewage collection and disposal systems – Development, storage, treatment, purification and distribution of water – Public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian facilities – Livable Centers Initiative – Supporting TSPLOST and light railSource: http://www.thelocalzoom.com/, http://www.cumberlandcid.org/
  • 23. Town Center CIDSuPurb LCI Initiative
  • 24. Infiltration of Education System• Several Georgia universities offer degree programs in sustainable development• The National Association of Scholars – sustainable development has a “ubiquitous presence in the K-12 curriculum…sustainability is used as a means of promoting to students a view that capitalism and individualism are ‘unsustainable,’ morally unworthy, and a present danger to the future of the planet.”Source: http://www.nas.org/polStatements.cfm?Doc_Id=1936
  • 25. Visible Results• Millions of dollars spent by governments to acquire private land, which is then centrally planned and managed• Assault on private property rights – Designate land for public use (eminent domain) – Designate prime farmland, forests and land near water as "preservation areas" that cant be developed – Downzone land, then use gov’t money to buy it at cheap prices• Miles of sidewalks to nowhere with no pedestrians• Increase in bicycle paths• Push for incredibly costly and inefficient rail systems• Gov’t ownership of aquatic centers, performing arts centers, etc.
  • 26. • “Restrictive state and local land-use regulations are a key factor in escalating housing prices. Delinquency and foreclosure rates in the areas with tight land regulations…are among the highest in the nation.”Source: http://www.heritage.org/Issues/Housing/Smart-Growth
  • 27. “Aside from the staggering presumption that a select group of elites in America should be allowed to decide how and where the rest of the people live, the reality of SMART growth is that it often fuels suburban sprawl, pollution, congestion, and a lack of affordable housing, the very problems it purports to solve.”Source: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/smart-growth-economic-wolf-sheeps-clothing-jan-brauner-0
  • 28. Summary• Smart growth is more about economic control than being responsible stewards of the environment• Restricting access to energy, land and transportation gives unfettered control over citizens and tramples on our liberty• As one pundit said, “Smart growth? Smart for whom?”
  • 29. Next StepsLearn• What smart growth plans exist in your city and county?• What NGOs, PPPs and CIDs are in play?• Is ICLEI involved?• Follow the money• Who’s in charge?Attend meetings & town halls• FIRST – know their strategies and techniques
  • 30. www.regs-gridlock.com Presentation posted on “Resource” page