17 Nov 2008

First, Vermont; Then, Siler City

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Mark Stinson, in the Chatham (North Carolina) Journal Weekly, laments the invasion, and take-over, of Siler City by intolerant representatives of the contemporary community of fashion.

We have a certain number of people that are transplanted here because they wanted some space. We have others that have money that wanted space too; that like the city life but want to live in the country. These people use their wealth to force the rest of us to do what they want. …

Bobby Smith of S&W Speed Shop in Siler City has occupied the same corner lot for almost 40 years. He has been a constant tax paying citizen and local fixture around this area. …

This brings me to the invasion of the jug making pot heads that want to turn Siler City into a smaller version of Chapel Hill. You see the arts incubator has grabbed a chunk of mid down town Siler City and proceeded to start transforming the town into a Chapel Hill / Carrboro clone. Bobby never in 40 years had one complaint about a vehicle sitting in his parking spots beside his shop or parts of vehicles stored in his lot behind his shop until the artsy bunch cleaned up town (as they put it) and located a pottery next to him. They have constantly whined and complained to the town forcing Bobby to move just about everything off his property to accommodate their desires to make downtown visually pleasing to them.

Recently they sent a police officer because Bobby had his truck. which he is repairing sitting in his parking spot “turned the wrong way” and they didn’t like the looks of that truck so they wanted it gone. …

Kenny Clark is feeling the effects of their constant complaints as well and Clapp Brothers will be next on the hit list if something isn’t done to balance things out again. They have already complained about things such as shipping crates temporarily stored in Clapps lot.

I personally love arts n crafts. I enjoy learning new ways to be creative but not at anyone else’s expense. If I want to see pottery I go to Jug Town where it is done the right way. I may be wrong, but in my opinion anyone can learn to make a pot. Not everyone can fix a bull dozer, build engines or repair a truck that helps members of our community make an honest living. …

does it make sense to bully the small established businesses out just because you want to make pots? The Arts incubator could never draw the kind of money some of these business have and never will. People involved with the Arts Incubator may have millions but that money isn’t being spread around the community. I was all excited about the arts incubator coming to Siler City until I saw how it grew to push people aside and trample those that are established in the community just to add “culture” to Chatham. …

I went through town to see a naked blue lady on top of a building, a half a naked man and a naked anatomically correct statue of a man on a street corner and honestly was upset. I don’t want my children to see such things in what is supposed to be a public place. I find it offensive. Is it better to be offended by art or annoyed with an eyesore of machine parts that are supposed to be outside a garage anyway?

One Feedback on "First, Vermont; Then, Siler City"


I was struck by the title to this piece, mostly because (1) I’m in Vermont, and (2) the town adjoining the one I live in, and which my farm sloshes over the boundary into by about 30 acres, is about to vote on a zoning change that will increase the minimum building lot size from 2 acres to 15 acres. (Shoreham VT)

This change, of course, is being advocated by those folks who generally own less than 15 acres to begin with, and who tend to be adjacent to larger farms. These folks tend to be “newcomers”, in the sense they are part of the hippie invasion of the 60’s and 70’s or they are more recent city dwellers who’ve migrated to the countryside …and as my neighbor puts it … “want to raise the drawbridge behind them” because now hat they are here, the want to control who else might show up.

This attempt to “buy the view” at someone else’s expense drives me and most of my fellow rural landowners up the wall.

This is a town whose population is significantly less than it was 150 years ago, and doesn’t have enough growth to warrant having a development plan. There are virtually no local jobs, so you’re either a farmer, a commuter, or retired.

This is, of course, a disaster to any farmer who retirement was based on the possibility of subdividing some of his land and selling building lots to the public. And, I might remind everyone, has paid taxes on this land for decades as if it were much more developable than it is now turning out to be.

It’s of questionable Contitutionality, since a change of this magnitude seems to be a “takings” of significant enough proportion to trigger the Takings Clause.

And finally, it’s just plan rude and inconsiderate by these zoning czars to come out here to the countryside and bring their top-down command and control socialist government model along with them.


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