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A Minor Suggestion Regarding Open Space and the Good of Society
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23 October 2017  

By applying the concept of PAD Open Space, we can solve many Societal Ills through Collective Capitalism.

Do you love Open Space?

I can tell you a way the City can get more Open Space without spending a dime of taxpayer money.

Yep! It is totally free - and typically in desirable areas. Free Open Space - what could be better?

All the City has to do is approve more developments within the City limits.

You see, you may be unaware of this, but in the City of Prescott’s Land Development Code (LDC), there is a provision for Planned Area Developments (PAD) to dedicate 25% of the property to public open space.

So, suppose a developer purchases property, which they have to make the payments on, insure and maintain. But, only 75% of the property they purchase can be developed. The rest must be dedicated to Open Space. The developer may think he has 1000 acres, but in reality, he can only use a maximum of 750 acres for his own purposes.

We’re not talking streets, setbacks, or residential yards, either. We’re talking dedicated acres for open space. Here is the LDC definition:

As a matter of fact, the City, at it’s own whim, can even decide to “impose additional reasonable conditions necessary to carry out the spirit and intent of this Code… These requirements may include, but are not limited to, increased open space… Additional landscaping or buffering…”

Why? Well, it is, “…intended to conserve private and public natural and scenic resources of community value. Such open lands may include mountaintops, ridgelines, steep slope areas, scenic view sheds, wildlife habitats, wooded areas, archeological sites, passive open space that typically contain no (modern) buildings or structures.” (Article 4, Section 4.2.1/Purpose)

As Councilman Jim Lamerson has commented in the past regarding this policy, it’s a Taking. Findlaw defines a “taking” like this:

But, of course, it’s a Taking with the best of intentions, and it’s only for the Good of Society.

After mulling this over for quite some time, I have come to the logical conclusion that this practice can, and should, be expanded for the continued Good of our Society. It has been suggested that we title this concept, ‘Collective Capitalism’.

Mass Transportation - Solved.

For example, we have many people concerned about mass transportation to benefit the less fortunate who cannot afford to own a private vehicle. Therefore, anyone who is in possession of, or acquires, a vehicle, should be required to dedicate 25% of the total miles driven to those that are less fortunate and have no personal transportation. These miles can be used to take someone to the doctor, or even grocery shopping. In some situations, car pooling miles may be applicable. But, if everyone who owns a car would set aside 25% of their driving miles for the good of society, we would not have need for a public transportation system. And it would all be free to the State. The vehicle owner would make the payments, keep it maintained and insured. They will be satisfied, because they can use their vehicle as they please 75% of the time. (An enforcement officer will place a boot on the vehicle, rendering it unusable, if the owner is not compliant with the requirements.) The person being driven around wouldn’t have to pay anything, of course. Everyone wins, right?

Homelessness - Solved.

Another area of societal concern is homelessness. When a person or a family acquires a home to live in, they will be required to dedicate 25% of the living space to someone that is indigent or homeless. This area could also be used to help address the prison overpopulation issue. The homeowner or responsible tenant will make all payments, insure it and pay for maintenance. Surely they will be grateful, since they will still have 75% of their home available for personal use. Homelessness will cease to be a problem. Society wins once again!

Hunger - Solved.

It is absolutely imperative that we have no hunger in our society. Therefore, upon checking out at the grocery store, a 25% surcharge will be immediately added to the final amount due. That money will be instantly conveyed to local foodbanks. Grocery stores and financial institutions will refrain from charging for the service of processing this transfer, that will be their donation to the project. The person purchasing the food with their own hard-earned money will be happy, knowing that the homeless person living in their house and the transient riding in their vehicle can always go to the food bank to obtain sustenance and avoid starvation. With that, we have solved the vast majority of all of Societal Problems.

Sigh. It is a pity about the whole issue of personal private property rights, but in the long run, Collective Capitalism will be Best for All.

 
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.