Massive population growth may sound great to politicos and others eager to solve problems like transportation, sewer, water, education, and air quality, but to growthophobes it signals a call to action.
The Sunday Idaho Press Tribune published a story predicting the population of Canyon and Ada Counties would hit one million by 2040. They even claim Canyon County will see an 83% increase in population. Most of the data was drawn from a report by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho–COMPASS.
Strict building regulations, impact fees, eliminating subsidies to business, preserving agricultural interests in Canyon County, and similar measures will go a long way toward improving the quality of life in Southwest Idaho–further than adding more people. How about combating growth instead of encouraging it?
We see COMPASS as an organization that is able to create havoc among communities under the guise of “planning for the future” with endless surveys, studies, and meetings. Regardless of one’s political views, the idea of planning for a wide area sounds great, but seldom works in reality. Cities and Counties pay dues to the advisory group which has no authority–or obligation–to implement its decisions.
While it would be nice to make decisions based on common sense and logic, we see little chance that Boise City would allow Meridian to set standards for fire service or Garden City would allow Boise to annex the city it nearly surrounds or Boise would dissolve its police in favor of Ada County sheriff law enforcement. In short: regional planning is as fruitless as trying to stop growth–neither works. Local control is hard to relinquish.
When it comes growth, the less we see the better. Growthophobes oppose growth for the sake of growth. If individuals or businesses wish to come here and pay a fair share of taxes and fair wages, we welcome them. If they need any sort of “incentives” (read that “welfare”) we suggest they help some other places grow.
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