original posting 4/11/11
I think we can envision what sustainable development might mean based on the meaning of the words and a little common sense. Probably the first thought that comes to mind is the continued prosperity of something such as a business. Other things that come to mind is common sense development to keep taxes down, a clean environment, good schools, free enterprise. All of these things are the essence of sustainable development to the average citizen.
What sustainable development isn’t, is the abolishment of private property rights, a bloated over-reaching government, government sanctioned monopolies, erosion of individual freedom, and the redistribution of wealth which is the essence of Chesterfield County’s “new comprehensive plan”.
This form of “Sustainable Development” (capital letters) is a recipe for the destruction of capitalism. If you think I’m kidding, look at what is happening in California. Over the past two decades, regulations incrementally imposed to implement Sustainable Development polices have choked free enterprise out of existence. Businesses are leaving the state in droves. Housing costs have risen to eleven times the annual income of its residents. Even though energy and water consumption is down, the cost to each household is higher and in the absence of any expansion of infrastructure to deliver resources. Unemployment and foreclosure rates are the highest in the nation. The state is essentially bankrupt.
This hardly sounds like what we envision as sustainable development.
The county government is not completely to blame. After all, they are only following the directives of our federal government. The county is rewarded with generous funding for the implementation of the egregious programs that consequently resolve some of the problems of local government, many of which were created by the federal government in the first place.