Thursday, October 4, 2007

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming

The latest in a long series of development moratoria adopted by the Athens-Clarke County Commission aggravates the Hell out of me on two points.

The first is that it continues the distressing habit of governing via development moratoria the Commission has employed over the past several years – frequently with little to no advance notice. The Commission approved the moratorium on Tuesday – after it was added to that body’s voting session agenda only the day before. The particulars of the moratorium aside, this practice is not good government (an argument I have been making for just as many years – to no avail whatsoever). It renders our current zoning and development ordinances completely meaningless, as they are routinely suspended with virtually no public input – and invariably for the purpose of rewriting them so as to be far more restrictive.

The second concerns the moratorium itself which, in Blake's words, bans “tearing down or moving buildings on South Milledge Avenue” for a period of six months and is primarily aimed at fraternity and sorority houses, several of which had plans to alter, expand, or move their structures. For those who may have forgotten, this is the second moratorium aimed directly at UGA's Greek community. I am not against historic preservation (of meaningfully historic structures as opposed to that of any building that just happens to be old), but the manner in which the Commission routinely tramples private property rights in favor of collective rights alarms me greatly.

In other news, the Commission has already told residents to expect a millage rate increase and now comes another call for increasing local taxes (because, or course, the Unified Government’s spending is hopelessly out of control).

Our betters claim that they have actually lowered property taxes twice since city-county unification. I disagree. See this post from June in which I offer a differing perspective.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: