TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE: ANOTHER TRICK
The TIF is a trick against us, not developers. Why am I surprised? That it is the opposite of what it seems–where have I seen this before? As in EIRs supposed to discuss environmental impacts instead being used to make the job of fighting development harder?
The Planning Commission report about the TIF showed 90% of the money to support developments to have an impact on traffic–whatever that means, and in the hands of this CC I’d bet it means anything but a good thing–come from sources other than the TIF. Grants from other agencies of government to do things about traffic, grants from foundations to do whatever the foundations support–such as money to put in fiber optic lines and do all the traffic work that is necessary to do it–all kinds of places SM gets money from. The bottom line is every fee they impose on developers will lead to 9 times that much spending in something that they will call traffic impacts work.
What it really boils down to in SM is always more and worse development. They couldn’t plan a lemonade stand now that they have been bought off by developers and allow the developers to do whatever they want.
The money from this TIF will be used with 9 times more to support more and more development. Period. Always, in SM where each development is being used to try to correct the mistakes of the last 10 poorly-planned, cheap materials, still two subterranean layers of parking ridiculous outdated architecture based on the mixed use eyes on the street outdated concept.
It’s a tragedy, but one caused by arrogance. SM started in the 1980s with Water Gardens and now is going to be behind the times with Mixed Use Creative just getting started here when it’s being abandoned everywhere else where it hasn’t worked. Retail spaces in the middle of unplanned blocks, at high rents because the developments were overblown, it’s everywhere you look. SM just starting on it, oh my. And then SM will be behind the times with the next new buzz word in planning, five years behind everyone else, pretending they are state of the art and proposing awards for themselves for how green they are. When everyone else saw LEED was a facade ten years ago, they still haven’t gone beyond LEED silver being required. LEED Platinum is a trick, since it never requires any proof any emissions were actually saved, just that devices were put in. Like solar panels that take 22 years to recover the energy cost of producing them. What can we do with such hacks?
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Seriously, all this really means is another pot of money they will not be transparent about and will misuse unless we stay right on top of them. That is what we plan to do.