You Can't Stop Progress, Or Can You?

To answer that question, one must first define progress. Is it, enhanced and improved community services, preservation of resources, land and the natural amenities of the community? Or is it uncontrolled sprawl and blight, destruction of everything good, traffic gridlock, pollution and higher taxes. I'm afraid it is the latter if you ask many of our elected officials. The old saying that, you can't stop progress isn't totally true. Let me explain the math as to why Loudon County and more particularly Lenoir City are in the mess there in now.

It starts with dirt. The dirt has a certain value based on several factors. Let's say I own one acre. Developer Dumbo offers me $100 bucks for my one acre. I think I turn him down and keep my dirt. But Developer Dumbo comes back in two weeks and offers me $40,000.00 for my one acre. Humm, that's a lot of money. I may be ready to sale. Why would Developer Dumbo offer me so much money for my one acre? Let me explain.

In Loudon County, Lenoir City and Loudon, our local officials have put in place zoning regulations that will allow up to eight homes per acre. Developer Dumbo can build up to eight homes on my one acre that he bought for $40,000.00. Probably condos. Let's say Developer Dumbo decides to build just four homes on my one acre. Let's say Developer Dumbo can sell each of his homes for $250,000.00. You do the math. This is what is driving the incessant out of control development that is going to destroy our community. So how do you stop it you ask?

The one thing you can count on, is the greed of developers. If they can't make a lot of money they won't be here very long. The solution is actually very simple. If our elected officials would simply change the zoning laws to only permit two homes per acre, that would really kill the big profits the developers are reaping under the current regulations. They would scurry away very quickly.

What about commercial development? It's a well established fact, that commercial development follows the roof tops, meaning residential development. If the residential development is slowed to a natural pace, the commercial development will follow suit. This is the simplified version of what's happening in our community but these are the mechanics of the process.

Let your elected officials know how you feel.