Colleges, Cows and Contentment... hehe.
Your very own Northfield Planning Commission just voted 4-1 to recommend approval of a CUP application to put a regional stormwater pond in the floodway of the Cannon River. In this location, it will be inundated during high water situations, rendering it useless. That means that at times, all trash, salt, gravel and whatever else from the entire developed area out by Target will be washed, unabated to your river. You may see this material tumbling down your pretty waterfall in Bridge Square. There were no fewer than five letters submitted to the Commission, from supremely qualified agencies/entities that outlined concerns and shortcomings regarding this proposal... they were all ultimately ignored. The vote was in favor of a system that, in order to squeeze in under the requirements of the floodplain ordinance, sacrificed its functionality.
I don't know what to say.... other than I absolutely wasted my time collecting and distributing those comments. My wife and child sat at home, while I burned my time being ignored and steamrolled. Most of all though, I am thankful for all of the time put into the comments that were submitted - and sorry they were cast aside like peanut shells at a Twins game. I am very discouraged, because I put forth my best effort in soliciting comments from the right people, and it didn't make a damn bit of difference. Do I want to wait around for months to work on the shoreland ordinance, only to have sensible, just and community-based recommendations be trumped by "progress," development, subdivisions, and money? I don't know yet.
I'll write some more later.... and somehow provide the public with the details of it all.
In the meantime:
Colleges, Cows, Contentment:
Colleges: we're already formulating dreams of acquiring land from the colleges that "should be developed" and "is right in the way of the corridor" - heck, maybe by 2050 the great institutions will be surrounded by more mini-malls, and all of the natural lands they hold will be paved.
Cows: they are a token image - cute but no longer representative, unless you consider the milk in Cub foods that was shipped in from some other state.
Contentment: this may be the only slogan component that will hold true, because as each generation comes of age, standards erode and expecations crumble. Our kids will probably be content to sit in front of the TV, eat processed food and dream of dollar signs.
As a parting thought, here is an excerpt from your very own King James Version... just so you righties can be reminded that it's not just the flaming liberals who hold positions against unbridled development:
"Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! "
"Such is the sin of these - they build house upon house, plant field joint to field, until there isn't space, [so] they [you] shall be left alone in the land."