It would have been nice on Pine as well as other areas where housing is being demolished, if the redevelopment included economically diverse housing options. However, that does not provide the best return on the dollar. I find the taxing debate interesting. It is every eight years that taxes are reviewed. The folks who live on a street where all the houses were $2 to $3 hundred thousand dollars are going to see their taxes going way up because of new houses that are $1 to $2 million dollar properties. The folks for the redevelopment of Old Raleigh say "Well that only increases the value of your home." Not really. If your home and your property have not changed, then why should you be taxed for the influx of homes that are overpriced for the area and are usually being built on speculation? What is friendly or neighborly about that? I suspect there is a calculated "hope" that many of those folks who cannot afford the inflated taxes will have to sale their homes so "the haves" can "have some more." In industry, isn't that called hostile takeover?
The builders in our area have said that being inside the beltline is what newcomers want, because of the charming older neighborhoods and closeness to downtown. And thus, we have seen a lot of speculative building of $1 to $2 million homes that don't seem to be moving very quickly. In some cases, citizens who have been living in modest, affordable apartments have been displaced so progress can be made.
My concern is for those citizens who have lived inside the beltline because of needing access to the bus line. How long before there will be more citizens who need affordable places to rent than there are apartments available? Smart growth requires that we care for all citizens and not just those who can pay for what they want. If we do not take care of our elderly, handicapped, and those with lesser means who NEED to be close to public transportation for their existence and independence, then our community has come to be one where greed will always win over compassion. I appreciate Mr. Koopman being willing to represent people who need a voice and don't have the financial backing to be heard.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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