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This land of ours

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Published On : 07-20-2004
Author : Steve Donegan

I am currently on an airplane on route to Oklahoma City.  It is a clear day, so I am able to see all the vast amount of open spaces.  We really do have a lot of open space out here in the West.  Until now, people have needed to live in or around major cities.  With the popularity of the Internet people are able to telecommute.  I predict that semi rural areas will become more and more populated.  What will this do to all of our open spaces?  If we are not careful, we could lose some pretty neat areas.  Fortunately, there are other factors to consider, besides employment.  In the West we have to consider the availability of water, as well as other utilities.  This should slow down the land grabbing, but not altogether. 

            It may seem strange that a builder is concerned about environmental issues and wants to preserve open spaces.  After all, aren’t builders just in it for the money?  I’m sure there are plenty of them who are.  But a lot of us really care about the look and feel of our country.  I actually have a degree in Environmental Studies from Utah State University.  I spent a lot of time researching many environmental issues.  I feel as if I can see valid points on both sides of environmental issues. 

There are certainly some environmentally friendly things that are happening in the building industry.  For instance the size of building lots are quickly being reduced.  This does several things for the environment.  This uses less land, water, concrete, sewer pipes, and asphalt.  It doesn’t give you as much personal space to take care of, but it does allow more room for parks and open spaces.  Furthermore, developing costs go down because curbs, sidewalks and roads are shorter.  When there is money to be made by preserving environments, we have a win/win situation.

Cities are catching on, but not quickly enough.  We have personally tried to develop in cities where several concerned neighbors screamed that we are cramming the homes too close together.  In fact, we were proposing 1/3acre lots.  In my opinion, anything more than a ¼ acre, in a neighborhood, is just wasting valuable space and resources.  Thanks for letting me vent.


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