2015-06-12 / Letters

Writer’s approach is not doable

To the editor:

This is in respectful response to the letter by Ms. Jennifer Morris (“Consider city property,” June 5, Sentry).

Of course green space proponents want to control the amount of green space there is in South Portland.They want to use city land as an unpaid buffer to keep undesirables away from their property. Whether businesses or additional housing, these “undesirable” incursions are unwanted, and therefore emotional arguments like the need for more green space are levied against free marketeers.

Since, as Ms. Morris points out, we the people of South Portland own the land, why do we have to carry the cost of Ms. Morris’ “free” buffer of green space? If she wants to maintain that buffer, she should buy the land and turn it into a park. The entire town should not be responsible for whether Ms. Morris’ back yard has an unobstructed view of the horizon. As more and more available properties become off limits green space, the supply of available land for homes and businesses decreases and the value of existing homes and businesses goes up.

It’s a far stretch to believe the motives of land-management proponents are purely altruistic as they would benefit the most from the increased green space designations. While all property owners like the appreciable climb of the value of their investment, artificially inflating it through restrictive covenants is not the answer, as those on the seaboard of California found out a few years back. Many of the counties in California that saw property value drop the greatest during the housing bubble burst of 2007-2009 had highly restrictive land-management regulations in place. Dallas and Houston, on the other hand, have almost no land-management regulations on the books and their property values were basically unaffected during the same years.

For further economic growth in our city, we should be considering a Dallas/Houston approach, not a San Jose/ San Francisco plan.

Devin T. Robinson South Portland

Return to top