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Old 01-28-2008, 02:59 PM
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Default Byron's Report and "Smart Growth"

This really doesn't fit into any particular category, but since there's little fishing going on in the mountains...

I was really struck by what Byron has been saying about "smart growth" and how Townsend wants to implement it. Let me just say, as someone who is living in an area that is suffering the consequences of unplanned growth, it is a MUST. St Tammany Parish (county for everyone outside of Louisiana) has been the fastest-growing area of the state for some time now. 40 years ago, it was largely a rural area, with some vacation/resort areas for people from New Orleans to escape the heat and yellow fever of the south shore of Lake Ponchartrain. The opening of the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway (world's longest bridge) made access to the north shore easier, and subdivisions started to appear. However, growth exploded, starting in the late 1970s, when the crime rate in the city started to spike. The road network, designed for a slower, simpler time, has been overwhelmed. Because most of the growth occurred in unincorporated areas, there is no public transportation, and everything is spread out in a large "exhurb" - you have to drive everywhere. I live right across from a major shopping development, but I have to drive even to it - to walk would be to take my life in my hands. Traffic congestion is, in my opinion, worse than anything in the city, and will not get better anytime soon. From a personal standpoint, a lot of the swamps and other places I used to fish as a kid are long gone, replaced by subdivisions.

I've mentioned to a lot of people that, if I didn't have young children, I would love to live back in the city, in the uptown area where my family used to live. I could walk to the store, and catch the St Charles Ave streetcar to get most places - I wouldn't need my car hardly at all. Of course, the city isn't the greatest place to raise kids anymore, so that isn't an option. Anyway, I'm glad that Townsend is thinking about this issue, particularly because Blount County already has a lot of this rampent type growth around Maryville and other areas. I'm as conservative as they come, and certainly no tree-hugger - I don't begrudge anyone trying to make a living, creating jobs, etc - but unless things are thought through, the growth will become unmanageable, and you'll end up with an area that will be unrecognizable.

Anyway, my .02 worth.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:22 PM
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kytroutman kytroutman is online now
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Having traveled to the Smokies for nearly 40 years, it is disturbing to see the negative impacts to the surroundings with the uncontrolled growth. Too, I respect a person's right to earn a living but smart growth is controlled growth. As the growth continues to shrink the available greenspace, the developers are slowly killing the reason that most people visit the Smokies in the first place.

BTW, the garden district of New Orleans is one of the prettiest places there is and nothing like an evening at Preservation Hall.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:42 PM
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I live in a subdivision that is situated on part of a farm that I used to hunt when in my teens. I live in Boone county Kentucky which is much like St. Charles Parish has been described by JSouth.

I applaud what Townsend is doing.

Jeff
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:05 PM
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My mother was born in Sevierville and I spent a part of almost all my school year summers roaming this area....I still have relatives in the area and most of my memories are of a town numbering3-4000 people. My uncle and aunt were recently displaced by the need for a faster backway into Dollywood...SR66 crossed a one lane bridge and the only reason to cross it was to go to Uncle Hal's or Douglas Dam....while Gatlinburg was more or less the same Pigeon Forge was barely a wide spot in the road that had about a half dozen motels to handle the overflow from the Burg.....I can remeber horse drawn wagons in the center of town on Sat. mornings....now its hard for anyone there to really tell you where the center of town is....Wear's Valley was more or less isolated by a series of one lane horse bridges and was only used as a short cut to Tremont to fish....the scaping of the hill tops led to the horrible fires last summer that claimed a lot of cabins....no thought as to how the fire dept could answer a call or fight such blazes....I only shutter to think what the Park would look like today.....guess the cove would look more like Park City Utah with ski slopes and a big golf course in the meadow....
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:51 PM
Nharrier Nharrier is offline
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Being from central FL I have determined this: Smart growth = more than you asked for and less of what you have.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:03 PM
bamafisherlady bamafisherlady is offline
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Amen to what you are saying. Everytime I go through Wears Valley it discourages me to see all the house up on the sides of hills and mountains, trying to get higher than the other person, is what it looks like to me. That is what I ABSOLUTELY love about Townsend-- it is growing,yes, but there's a mystique about it that it is still country...and that is why people love to be there.

Facing that same thing on the Hiwassee too, by the way, from what I have heard. It's just, IMHO, greedy people capitalizing on beautiful scenery. But what is beautiful about a mountainside that is gutted? Or a steam that is filthy? I could go on b/c I am getting worked up, but I hear what you're saying and I totally agree! Good post!
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:09 PM
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I can hardly bear to drive through Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburn anymore without getting my dander up. I pray that this will never happen to the Townsend side. If you drive the "back way" through Sevierville you can't miss "Legacy Mountain", truly an abomination to God's creation (hope this picture link works, if not do an Image Google search of "Legacy Mountain Sevierville"):

http://thegreatsmokeymountainsparkwa...gacy070211.jpg
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:44 PM
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Wow...that's a horrible sight. It's like a lot of the newer subdivisions around here, only worse, because of the mountain. Now, I have to admit, I grew up in a subdivision, but it was one of the first ones built around here; the lots were bigger, most of the trees were left, and they left the swampy areas alone. Now, they're building wherever they can...put the house on stilts if it's swampy.

The point is not to deny anyone a vacation home...after all, I own property up there now, and someday I hope to build on it. However, when I build, I plan on taking out as few trees as possible (I have a lot of hemlocks, which I hope are around when I finally build). So, you build a little slower, with a little more thought. Also, you don't, as has happened far too many times down here, throw up a subdivision or a shopping center without planning for the traffic. We have a road network here designed for the late 50s-early 60s, when the population was no more than a tenth of what it is now.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:19 PM
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My company owns a Chalet in the ski mountain road area. I have had the good fortune to have use of it once or twice a year for 16yrs. Its old and need of some work, but sits on 7 acres of land. There is a lot that sits on one side of it and we always assumed that it was not buildable. WRONG!!!! they are building on lots with 30' foundations. Scary! We are thinking of buying it and the two private cabins around us. They bought this chalet for around $100,000 19 yrs ago. I think the lot is worth 3 times that now. So far we have a clear view of the smokies, but if we don't buy the other lot the view will be spoiled. I am in the building industry and growth is really good for me and right now I need growth in Middle Tennessee to keep from laying off people, but it needs to be controlled. And not let the developers go hog wild. The reason that the building industry is getting in sad shape is due to the fact that we have overbuilt. My company is in good shape and I may be asked to trim the fat a little, But several other companies have laid off several people.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:46 AM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Check out today's fishing report and the link to the Daily Times. Good posts folks.

Byron
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