People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Your Property Rights In Jeopardy?

There are certain terms in our 2011 lexicon that send up red flags when some politician brings them up. "Eminent Domain" is one of them.  "Smart growth" being another.  Both terms have to do with someone in government - who's always wiser than you and me and has better intentions than you and me - knowing what should be done with your property.  Whether you like it or not.  "Property rights"?  That's so 19th century.  They care about the greater good.  And they're always smarter.

Where once they were called "bureaucratic collectivists," an offshoot of Marxism, today we know them as Democrats.  Democrats to be feared.  Democrats who know what should be done with your property.  Whether you like it or not.

Here's another term you should get your arms around: Urban Development Areas.  Daniel Nairn gives us a (glowing) look into their creation and evolution:
Over the last couple of years the state government of Virginia has been rolling out a land use planning category for localities known as Urban Development Areas (UDAs), where higher density development can be concentrated. 

The concept started off slowly in 2007 with HB 3202 as an advisory element to be placed in the Comprehensive Plans of "high growth" localities, but UDAs have gradually been weaved into everything from stormwater regulations to street design requirements over the last year.

The Development and Land Use Tools Subcommittee, known as the Athey-Vogel group, last week released a proposal for stronger UDAs and a loan fund to sweeten the pot. Considering the media has pretty much ignored this process (I can't find any story, actually), it seems like a worthwhile endeavor to pay attention to where this initiative may be going.

The purpose of UDAs is not only to allow the concentration of growth in certain areas (thus relieving the pressure on others) but also to guide the design of such areas to ensure they are livable and attractive environments. The legislation explicitly calls for "new urbanism and traditional-neighborhood design," and the essential criteria are spelled out clearly: pedestrian-friendly road design, interconnection of streets, preservation of natural areas, mixed-use neighborhoods, reduction of front and side setbacks, among other things. Minimum densities are set by floor-to-area ratio for commercial and dwelling-units-per-acre for residential development.

Last week's proposed changes double the density requirements for all localities with populations greater than...
A few things to mention.   That ditty about "the purpose of UDAs is not only to allow the concentration of growth in certain areas ..."  Allow?  Hell, we've always allowed growth.  No.  In this instance make that requireMandate.  (More on that in a second.) And how about that "minimum densities are set by floor-to-area ratio for commercial and dwelling-units-per-acre for residential development"?  "Minimum densities are set"?  Hello?  What happened to "allow"?  Are we talking about the United States of America?  Did Leon Trotsky come back to life and settle in in Richmond, Virginia?

This brings us to Virginia House Bill 1721.

Before your eyes glaze over, understand this: It's opposed by the Sierra Club and by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Got your attention?

Why would those two anti-American organizations be opposed?

Take a wild guess.

See HB 1721 Urban development areas; makes incorporation of areas optional rather than mandatory.

From the Richmond Tea Party:
HB 1721

The following is information that Donna Holt of Campaign for Liberty provided about HB1721.


The General Assembly convened on January 12th and we are following many pieces of legislation. HB 1721 is one that has dire consequences for us. Currently, 67 localities in Virginia are mandated to build Urban Development Areas.

HB1721, introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall, would make Urban Development Areas optional rather than mandatory.

The bill was recommended to report (passed by a majority of yea votes) by the House Counties, Cities and Towns Sub-committee #2 by a vote of 7-4 on January 20th, but was stalled on January 21st by the full committee at the request of Speaker Howell. It must pass this full committee and then go to the House Floor for a full vote. If it passes there, it then goes to the Senate on February 8th, Cross-Over Day, to begin the process there. This is going to be a long battle.


This bill is being attacked by heavyweights like the Home Builders Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters.

Members of the Home Builders Association stand to gain a great benefit from the construction of UDAs. Not only can they build up to twelve homes on a single acre of land that they can purchase very inexpensively, but they get tax breaks for the new urbanism, green building, and green energy efficiency practices used in the construction of these high-density communities.

Organizations like the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Sierra Club are heavily funded by other international organizations like ICLEI and benefit greatly by defeating the bill.

The reality, folks, is if we don’t get this bill passed, 67 local governments in Virginia will have no choice but to approve the comprehensive plans in EVERY locality in Virginia because UDAs are MANDATED.


WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK NOW if we are to be successful! We must show them who the real heavy weights are.

We strongly urge you to:

* Contact every member of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee to urge them to vote in support of the bill.
* Contact Speaker Bill Howell (R) Phone: (804) 698-1028 Email: delwhowell@house.virginia.gov and ask him to support this bill.
* Contact YOUR representatives to let them know you support this bill.
* We urge citizens from EVERY locality of the Commonwealth to be representatives of their community at the next committee meeting on HB1721.

We are in the fight of our lives to defend private property rights. It is up to each and every one of us to do all we can to get HB1721 passed out of this committee and on to the floor for a vote.
Yes, there's another term that should frighten the socks off of you - "Comprehensive plan." See "bureaucratic collectivism" again.

Did you know there are 67 localities in Virginia that are mandated to build Urban Development Areas?

Neither did I.

But now that we do, what say we put a stop to it. NOW.

Support HB 1721.  Stop the Sierra Club.  Stop the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Before they come after you.

And let's all take the time to learn more about this ICLEI.  Our future depends on it.

- - -

* "Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices."

- - -

** Some will look at this and say, "You live in Bland County, population 6,900. What do you care?" For those I have another term: Creeping Socialism. Today they came for the citizens of Fairfax County.  Tomorrow they come after me.  I choose to not let that happen.

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*** You're thinking it can't happen here?  Look at ICLEI's membership roster. On the list of its participating "urban" localities?

Abingdon, Virginia.

Blacksburg, Virginia.

Roanoke, Virginia.

No, it can't happen to you.

How much do you value your property rights?

- - -

**** I received this from the Southwest Virginia Tea Party:
We're going before the [Abingdon Board of Supervisors] tonight [last night] with the intention of getting them to rescind their unanimous decision to join in the VA Go Green Govt Initiative. If you haven't heard of ICLEI or Agenda 21, good place to start is here: http://jayforde.com/agenda-21/ 
The Town of Abingdon has been partnered with ICLEI since 2008 and we're currently going thru 1000+ pages, uncovering the details of their illegitimate, UN-rubber-stamped affair, courtesy of our tax dollars.

They're just about to get their clinches into the county, but we're hell bent to stop this madness. They are the end of property rights (social injustice in their book) and they're getting their claws into zoning laws and comprehensive plans with the intention of herding us all into Urban Development Areas. Think I'm crazy yet? HB3202 mandates 67 counties create them and become "sustainable". We lost our sponsor for its repeal and are now lobbying to get 1727 (Bob Marshall's bill) to make UDA"S optional rather than mandatory. This crap is everywhere.

They always said our doom would come from the inside. THEY are HERE. ICLEI is in 18 VA locales & 600+ nationally. The Agenda is tied to federal HUD$$ and DOT$$ and has been snowballing since 1974.
I fear for my country.

I Think We All Know The Answer To That

Congressman Morgan Griffith on President Obama's speech last night:

“Regarding the federal budget, the President wants to freeze and spend? He proposes to freeze annual domestic spending, but continue to spend on new programs? How will he do this without adding to the deficit? This ‘Houdini accounting’ defies logic.”

Obama defies logic. Breaking news.

Even I'm Surprised

I would have thought he'd have at least sent his pals an insincere, meaningless suggestion of an intention of a proposition.  But no:

Too bad.  So many handgun magazines; so little time.

You Knew This Was Coming

What to do about Gabrielle Giffords?

That "empty chair" symbolism only works for a time.

Then reality sets in.

But not quite yet, apparently:

Rep. Loretta Sanchez sparks outrage from fellow Democrats with proposal to boot Giffords from Armed Services Committee

Her fellow Democrats apparently prefer that there be one less Democrat vote on the committee. At least until Giffords is able to return.

I say: Whatever the Democrats want.

- - -

Not meaning to associate this story in any way with Ms. Giffords' plight, I remember the day that they hauled my then-congressman on a stretcher to the House floor in 1994 to vote.  He was 84 and in failing health.  Not a pretty sight.  But, by God, he voted.

Admirable.  If a little weird.

Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

This is humorous.  If only because it's going to get everyone in the mainstream press all worked up.  After all, when it comes to certain items that may be newsworthy, they don't want to know absolutely refuse to know.  Hilarious:
Game-changer! Arizona to pass 2012 eligibility law
By Bob Unruh, WorldNetDaily

It could be a game-changer.

A plan in Arizona to require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is approaching critical mass, even though it has just been introduced.

The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors.

It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass.

In the House, there are 25 co-sponsors, with the need for only 31 votes for passage, and Burges told WND that there were several chamber members who confirmed they support the plan and will vote for it, but simply didn't wish to be listed as co-sponsors. [link]
Expect the courts to strike this law down, should it pass.

Judges, like ... investigative ... journalists ..., refuse to know for sure what the truth is.  They prefer to take the cocaine snorter's word for it.


On That Annual Gov't Love Fest ...

... that's known as the State of the Union speech, I didn't stay up to watch it (darn!), but if this is any indication, maybe I chose appropriately.

William A. Jacobson calls it: A million points of trite.

Our side has all the creative geniuses.