Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Superstition Vistas Scenarios

The people working towards putting together some sort of plan for the enormous Superstition Vistas east of the valley held a widely attended "Scenario" meeting last night. While the timing may not be all that great (thousands of foreclosed homes around the valley is probably not a big selling point for expanded development), thinking about long-term planning for the area is essential to prevent it from being developed one chunk at a time over the next 20 to 50 years.

The Republic has gotten all bloggy again, and so now we are getting a little insight from Gary Nelson in addition to his regular columns. In his latest post, Nelson hits it on the head, saying that this type of planning isn't about the resources or people, but rather the type of "place" this area would be if it were to be developed.

In this day and age, this is an important question, and has been a driving force for this new level of quality planning and development. For example, in the Gateway area, intelligent planning and a vision for the future has laid the groundwork for the location to be the next up and coming economic engine. Gone are the days of subdivisions and stripmalls defining our growth and people just driving until they can afford a home.

The people who are just plain anti-growth should try to be part of the solution instead of just complaining about the potential future of the desert. Having some vision and taking part in process is going to yield much better results over standing on the outside, giving no input and then complaining about the results.


Heath Reed said...

It is good that this is moving forward to get people to think about the way we grow. We live in a desert and resources are scarce. Our desert is a jewel and it has been neglected. It is the second most diverse ecosystem in the world! However, I do like Scenario C that has been looked at. But as time goes on, this will be the first of many plans that address this area. It is better to do it now to help for change in the state trust land department and in state law. Those who are anti growth like you said should go and work with those who are pro growth because there is a lot of things both sides bring to the table that is not fully addressed in this scenario building. I personally would like to see more open space, especially around the dry washes and mtns.

mahtso said...

"It is better to do it now to help for change in the state trust land department and in state law.

Without changing the laws, there is not much change that can occur at the Land Department. For those who do not know: the purpose of the State Trust Land is to raise money (the US Supreme Court case Lassen makes this clear.)

Although I am generally favor less taxes, I think it would be a good idea to explore having the taxpayers buy all the trust lands and (by for example, adding a surcharge on state sales or income taxes) then preserving these. But preservation also requires money to manage. That is one of the Land Department's big problems: little money to manage about 10 million acres. Consequently, it leases land to cattle grazers at a low price in part because the cattlemen then also help protect the land (from illegal dumping, mining or wood cutting). Yes, I know that cattle grazing is considered harmful by many.