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Who stands to gain from residential growth in Chatham County?

By Stuart Smith
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2005

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Who stands to gain from residential growth in Chatham County? - Certainly not the citizens.

Lately, Chatham County has experienced an influx of residential development. Rapid development results in many losers and a few winners. The only people who gain anything ($$$$$) from development are realtors and developers.

Developers and most realtors attempt to deceive citizens and public officials about the ugly truth of development. The truth is that while developers are rolling around in their own money, the county begins to lose money to finance development. The county then looks to its citizens to make up that difference and subsidize development. Otherwise, public infrastructure would collapse under its own weight.
After development starts and the county begins to lose money, it may look towards more development to finance the mistakes of the past. If the county opts to fix infrastructure by calling for more development, it will set itself up in a vicious cycle of growing deficits. The beneficial difference with slow growth, as opposed to fast growth, is that the county will have time to identify and fix problems created by past growth, before it becomes overwhelmed with too many problems.

Why am I saying all this?

On Tuesday night, February 15, the Chatham County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on the proposed Briar Chapel, a 2389 home, 1589 acre development at the intersection of 15-501 and Andrews Store Rd. I urge all of you who care about this county, its abundant natural beauty, its noncongested roadways and its charming small towns, to write your commissioners and express your opinions on Briar Chapel before Tuesday night.

If you would like to attend the meeting, it will begin at 7pm in the Superior Courtroom in Pittsboro.

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