Have to quote this one in full to get the full effect. From today’s Observer letter bag:

Wise growth prevented by property rights

The writer is professor of architecture and urban design, UNC Charlotte. In response to “N.C. population boom destroying quality of life” (Dec. 26 Forum):

The only solution to the quandaries of rapid urban growth in the Carolinas is coordinated regional planning and environmental design, as practiced more or less successfully by other Western democracies. Strategies for housing, jobs, transportation, environmental protection and community services such as schools and parks are coordinated by national, regional and local governments.

Such planning abridges individual property rights for the good of communities. I can own land in England, but I have no inherent right to develop it. Such rights are conferred on me only by community plans. But because that system is unlikely to be adopted here, badly planned growth with its consequent environmental and social damage will continue to be the norm.

David Walters

Can’t have social damage, Citizens. The King, the State, the City Manager, Center City Partners — they know what is best.

I miss Walters spinning out his visions of Utopia for Creative Loafing in longer form.