Thursday, August 27, 2015

Urban Standards

The Leduc County is in the process of enacting Urban Standard Bylaw. It appears to be going to be imposed onto existing community. This is a bylaw that will force some preferences and prejudices of the present county officials on the citizens. It is another form of taxation, taxation by forced physical labor in some instances. This is another form of forcing compliance on the population.  

There is a difference between imposing a  "Urban Standard Bylaw" on existing community, and on a new development. In a new development, the prospective buyers can be informed of the requirements. In an existing aged development, changes will be required. Those forced changes have costs and labor. Forcing change will also cause resentments and reactions. Have you ever wondered why there is so much vandalism, resentment, and grudging compliance against the Governments?

Rules that have no value, are illogical, out of date, useless, wrong, pig headed, or based on someone private interests are not in "community" interests, but only marketed as such. These may set the "community" standards, but are generally the wet dreams of some bureaucrat. Consider the 2.1 meter above the water table in rural residential development. It may be suitable to avoid difficulties in convention basements, but it is easy to design and build homes with no basement. Most of the world does that, but not in Alberta due to government requirements that are wrong, just someones ego trying to control others. Consider the Counties 2 acre rule on subdivision, so that 3.95 acres cannot be subdivided except into clusters where it could be divided into likely 6 lots once the sewer gets close enough.  More of the bureaucrats telling us how we should live.      

Comply, be fined and comply or move out. Those are the choices.

The City of Edmonton has similar, and it has been used to force seniors from there homes as they are unable to either do the work or hire the work done due to slim incomes. It requires the home owners to clear snow from City owned sidewalks, even where there is no space for the snow to be placed. It is up to the homeowner to have the snow loaded and hauled away, and that snow is not permitted in City operated snow sites. Now it becomes a issue to find space to dump that snow.

This is not community, but rather a collection of ego, each primary looking out for there own interests. It places some highbrow individual in a place of authority to decide what is ok and what is an "eye-sore". Is it reality or individual prejudices?  How long will it be before an ugly truck, but a useful to the owner truck is not permitted?

Now consider the City of St. Albert, where the existing community would not allow a Habitat for Humanity development. What does that say about that collection of egos?  That is what Urban Standard bylaw will bring.

Will this bylaw be used to force seniors on inadequate incomes, from their homes, as it is in Edmonton? In the final years of our lives, many of us can expect to not have the income nor ability to keep up with the young, often deeply in debt, neighbors. 

Perhaps this is not community, but a collection of individuals, each looking out for their egos, wants, and prejudices?  Urban Standards are not "community" but rather the preferences and prejudices of the "authority having jurisdiction".

What do I know about this? Nothing. I am just an old civil - geotechnical engineer who has observed much bureaucratic rule following and the wrongness that goes with what should be exceptions to the rules.     

No comments:

Post a Comment