Saturday, November 19, 2005

A little math

This + this = this.

I know I'm over simplifying things a bit, but I think these stories point to some very important facts about housing and development in this county.

The first story is from the Flier, and I hope it is a sign of things to come. In it, the Flier allows its writer, Andrei Blakely, to actually explore an issue in depth. He focuses on the changing demographics of the county, particularly that many seniors are choosing to age in place instead of migrating somewhere south of here.

The second story discusses the thousands on new jobs being shifted to Fort Meade as part of the federal military base realignment, as well as the fact that many of these folks will be moving to Howard County.

The third story is focused on addressing the county's affordable housing issue, especially as it relates to the charrette and Town Center. The first two stories make the third more significant. Programs to address affordable housing are certainly important, but such programs are doomed to fail if they don't consider the broader issue of housing supply, or lack thereof. As the need for housing, affordable or not, increases, limiting housing supply through overly restrictive allocations is going to make the situation untenable.

I don't wish to be painted as pro- or anti-growth. Instead, I consider myself one who looks at things as they are and as they are likely to be and addresses issues accordingly. And, from my perspective, overly restricting growth will do much to change the character of this community, specifically in terms of our supposed emphases on inclusiveness and diversity.

This isn't a matter of ideology. It's reality. We can either deal with it now, or we can live in denial until we can no longer live with that which we have created.

No comments: