As the letters continue to pour in regarding the Long Bar Pointe project, a recent phrase used by a fellow urban planner caught my eye: "smart growth."
Unfortunately, this project falls in the same category as far too many mixed-use projects wielding the smart growth banner ... smart growth in a dumb place (a phrase that must be properly attributed to Lisa Grow Sun, JD, of Brigham Young University).
Moreover, smart growth is multifaceted and this project simply does not fit the full bill. A major goal of the smart growth movement is to create environmentally responsible communities; as many have already expressed, this project is likely to have myriad negative environmental impacts.
Further, smart growth is also fiscally responsible growth, and the strain this high density and high intensity community may place on our roads and our aging bridges may have high costs for the community at large, despite the fact that some infrastructure is currently in place.
Last, I ask: Is it truly smart growth to put an increased number of people in a Coastal High Hazard area, where they will cause increased road congestion during an evacuation? Is altering existing drainage patterns in a way that may affect storm surge patterns throughout the western part of our county smart growth?
Claiming the proposed development as a smart growth project is shortsighted at best; high-density projects like this one do not belong in vulnerable coastal areas.