What Drives Growth?
Over on the ALA Speak Out there is a discussion about the growth in Alachua started by Charles Grapski. This is a very complicated subject but Mr. Grapski seems to have some simple answers. He believes that unbridled growth is leading to “the destruction of our nation”. He believes that, “This is about a group of parasites that are moving up from South Florida - to North Florida - because they have already exploited that area dry - and now want to do so here”.
When someone asked whether growth was driven by the demand for housing or if developers caused people to move to the houses, an example offered was the analogy of which cames first, the chicken or the egg, Mr. Grapski had this to say:
This is a false analysis - the chicken and the egg.
The developers come first - to answer the question - and then the people move here.
No developers, no large numbers of new homes, no large numbers of new residents.
You seem to assume that a community NEEDS a CONSTANT influx of new residents to remain alive. It does not.
The idea of an ever-expanding community is illogical - as there is a natural limit (a point of saturation).
You seem to assume that a community should be exploited freely to the point of saturation.
When that happens - these developers, with no vested interest in that community, pick up and leave that community HANGING for the damage they have wrought - and move on to another one - and do the same.
Thus you see South Florida moving UP HERE.
And the people are fleeing the South Florida developments TO COME HERE - because they want to LEAVE what the developers have wrought.
Now they are trying to create the same thing here - and eventually - at the saturation point - a large number of the people coming here from South Florida will DISPOSE of this community and move on to the next.
Also - developers and home builders are two different things.
A developer takes a large section of land - with no LOCAL demand for homes - and maximizes the number of homes (and minimizes the expenses beyond that - thus transferring that burden to the EXISTING residents to pay for things for the NEW residents) - and destroys the infrastructure of a community.
Most so-called developments should be TOWNS - not developments WITHIN towns. And as such they should be required to build a TOWN's infrastructure.
There should be a town center - with commercial and social infrastructure in the CENTER. There should be utilities and schools and roads and all of that.
But instead developers - parasites - come in and exploit the resources of an existing community - destroying all natural neighborhoods and community establishing elements - and just fill up land (cheap land - agricultural) with "outsiders" (remember how much the City commission criticizes outsiders?).
The issue is not the DEMAND for people to MOVE INTO Alachua or Alachua County.
The issue is the quality of life of those who ALREADY live here.
Yes there can be SOME new residents moving in - if there were a reasonable amount of new homes appearing in a natural and managed way.
But the DEMAND for all of these new homes - is NOT from within the current residents. And you and the developers force the CURRENT residents to PAY FOR the developers profit-making business (they are the source of the profit - not the homebuyers) - and thus to be accomplices in destroying the community they currently live in.
Question: How many of the people buying these homes are coming from South Florida? WHy are they leaving the developer's paradise in the first place?
Here is a good chance for a civil discussion about growth. I hope that Mr. Grapski will expound on his understanding of the economic forces that drive growth beyond the simple idea that developers from South Florida are the root cause.
My first question is, just who are these developers from So. Florida by name. I want to try to understand who Mr. Grapski blames for our growth.
Posted by Bud Calderwood