the future of Johnston county. It may be the future of your county, too, if you live nextdoor to a metropolitan area.
The room was, as expected, stuffed full of developers, more realtors, and housing industry people. They all cheered and clapped whenever someone stood to expound upon the evil, the destruction and the fear we all should feel from "Smart Growth" initiatives.
The other side -- we, the uncool kids, the lesser peoples, the applauders of growth management and smart growth -- was less than a dozen strong. We had a couple of eloquent speakers; a resident novelist and an intelligent, well-spoken, knowledgeable younger man from the Benson area and a handful of other very passionate citizens. Each got the best round of applause we could give them.
So, at the end of the evening, I came home and I cried. I saw the future. It is one of earth moving and tree cutting and cookie cutter "rooftop" expansion. It is ugly.
Developers, builders, realtors, et al. may one day wake up and realize what they've done, but it will not happen anytime soon. Perhaps they'll be satisfied when every two lane and four lane road in western Johnston County is stacked with cars a quarter mile deep from 7am to 9am & 4pm to 6pm, and the road is slated for widening.
They'll apply their massive legislative muscle to killing impact fees and transfer taxes and growth management regulations, but they won't apply equal legislative muscle to advocating and lobbying for light regional rail.
Perhaps they'll be satisfied when a grocery anchored strip mall sits on each of those two lane roads five miles from a mirror image on either side.
Perhaps they'll be satisfied when the Neuse is so full of pollutants and silt that humans can't even catch fish from it, never mind that we already won't eat those fish anymore.
Perhaps they'll be satisfied when cul de sac subdivisions blanket the whole of Johnston county.
They'll move from western Clayton and Cleveland on to central and northern Johnston -- down 70 and down 264.
They'll blanket that region with cul de sac subdivisions and the attending grocery anchored strip malls.
Then the people who dwell in all those wonderful strip mall attracting roof tops will cry out for wider roads -- again -- and they'll be built.
And then the blanketing will bleed further and further out ... widen the road, move out, grade land, slough silt, build strip malls, widen the road, move out, grade more land, slough more silt, build more strip malls, widen the road, move out, grade more land, slough more silt, build more strip malls, cut more trees, build more strip malls, cut more trees, build more strip malls, build more strip malls, build more strip malls.
Parts of Johnston County are already ugly as sin from unfettered growth. The western half of this county, from 301 to the Wake line, will look just like that soon -- as god-awful-ugly as Wake now looks from the Raleigh city limits down 55 to the other side of Fuquay.
Oh, but this is progress. Absolutely. Yes, yes -- PROGRESS!! Any attempt to manage progress spells doom! Yes, DOOM, little people, DOOM! So, this will all be much easier if you will just lie down like good little sheep and go along to get along. Amen.
P.S. Nobody who matters gives a damn what you think. Have a nice life.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.