Monday, April 10, 2006

Centralized Planning

Nantucket votes for higher prices, indifferent service.
Nantucket joined other historic tourist towns across the country in approving a measure that would ban chain stores from the island's downtown

Tacky restaurants, coffee chains, are right out.
The measure would bar any new chains with more than 14 outlets that have standardized menus, trademarks, uniforms or other homogeneous decor from opening downtown. The ban would not affect gas stations, grocery stores, banks and other service providers.

Tacky chain grocery stores, however, are just peachy keen. Because it's cool to hate Starbucks but only a monster hates IGA.

In other, perhaps non-surprising, news, Portand is discovering that centralized, rigid planning is not always a Good Thing.
Portland Oregon's highly praised (by central planning advocates) land-use planning system is breaking down. Residents are fed up with the increasing congestion, the diversion of funds from schools, fire, police, and other services to rail transit and high-density developments, the insider dealings and no-bid contracts, and unaffordable housing caused by the urban-growth boundary and restrictive land-use rules. The question is whether the region can find a way out of the hole it has dug for itself. One answer may come in upcoming city council elections.

An excellent daily report of Portland politics can be found at Lewis Clark law professor Jack Bogdanski's blog.
Like most Portlanders, Bogdanski is well left of center, so his disgust
with the planners is just one more sign that their reign is ending.
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