Joan Deaver’s Two For One Idea

  Here in Sussex County , Delaware we have a county council. And on that council we have a councilwoman by the name Joan Deaver. Mrs.   Deaver is a well know activist for the environment and against developement.

  While I may share some of her concerns about the direction the county was headed in during the boom and certainly these concerns will return after the bust. But I must  admit that she seems to show a lack of forethought when discussing things she would do to protect the county’s natural resources.

  Recently she has become a regular Tuesday morning segment on the Dan Gaffney show on local talk radio station WGMD. The councilwoman comes in and discusses issues facing the county. This segment began on the morning she came in to apologize for her action at county council where she suggested changing the word Easter to spring on the county council calendar.

 In one segment she made the statement that it was her job to spend our money. As you can imagine that one didn’t go over to well.

 In her last visit to Dan’s show she was talking about the need for proper infrastructure before developments are approved. Now this is one of those things that on principle I may agree with Mrs. Deaver. Though I’m not sure that adding to infrastructure before there is a need is plausible.

  The thing that really jumped out at me though was the statement Mrs. Deaver made about trees. She says that there should be no clear cutting of trees to allow for developments. She went on to say that there could be an ordinance put into place that would require that for every tree cut down , two must be planted. Sounds good right?

  Okay the devil is in the details though. Would her ordinance apply only to large developments or to any construction requiring the cutting of trees ?And imagine if you will, I buy a two or three acre lot that has say, two hundred trees on it. I want to cut down one hundred and fifty of those trees to build my home. According to Mrs. Deaver I must now find the space on  “MY” property to plant three hundred trees. Okay maybe I never took enough math and physics, but please tell me how I am going to fit twice as many trees and a home into a space that I need to clear to put the home up in the first place? Oh, and by the way what would constitute a tree. Would they only be considered a tree if over a certain height, and who gets to determine that height, and who gets to come out to every lot and development and decide what is and isn’t a tree? Well the government of course.

 This demonstrates Mrs. Deaver’s agenda of no development. This one ordinance could stop most if not all growth in the county and while I feel that we were growing to fast with little thought of the future , it is dangerous to try and restrict all growth.

 Now thank goodness we have others on the county council with level heads and it is un-likely that such a ordenance would ever get passed . But let this be a message to those in Mrs. Deaver’s district of who she really is when it comes to regulating private property rights.

4 Responses to “Joan Deaver’s Two For One Idea”

  1. Chris Slavens Says:

    I think we would do better to look at ways to profit from developers, while simultaneously discouraging them. Perhaps by implementing an obscenely high tax on new developments, and requiring that developers use local labor, instead of bringing work crews from Pennsylvania. Development is going to continue regardless of local efforts to stop it, but our leaders could, at the very least, ensure that locals are getting a slice of the pie.

  2. frankknotts Says:

    Chris , I’m not sure what the answers are. I agree that we need both development and to control the amount of growth. The problem with restrictions like you suggest is that it drives up the cost of new homes because if the builder can only use local help , then local help can demand more. If the cost of new homes go up it will drag up existing homes because more people will opt for those instead of building. This would mean that it would be harder for first time buyers.
    I ‘ve often thought that there could be an on demand way to develope. To allow only so many homes to be built for speculation , while allowing homes that are contracted to be built on demand. This would keep down the number of empty homes while allowing enough supply out there to keep prices competitive.

  3. Chris Slavens Says:

    An excellent idea. Example: Millville by the Sea, which is located on the border of Millville and Frankford. Many acres of land were purchased and cleared, a few homes were built, and now much of the land is empty. No one is buying. Meanwhile, existing developments are empty, while even more developments are being planned!

  4. frankknotts Says:

    Chris , you are correct that there is quite a bit of approved development out there that has yet to break ground and yet the county will continue to okay even more because of the revenue it generates through the permitting process. Perhaps we could do as Sarah Palin did in Alaska with the oil companies. The oil companies had taken out leases on land to drill for oil, but then held the rights as an investment for the future and didn’t drill. Sarah Palin revoked the leases and made them bid all over again.
    Maybe what Sussex County could do is to put a time limit and a minimum on the amount of actual building that must take place or else the developer would have to re-apply for permits. This would also allow the county to re-evaluate the surrounding conditions that might have changed since the original permits were approved.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: