As we all know in this area, Shelby County, Alabama has taken over the Comprehensive Planning for most of the county, the smaller cities in particular. The Comprehensive Plan structure and objectives that have been drawn up by Columbiana are freedom-robbing and property devaluing unless you live in the "designated city circles" this plan outlines. 75% of the population and business has to occur within the "circles." The remaining 25% outside of this sees their property devalued and discouragement of any business located in this smaller percentage zone.
These types of plans are being adopted in other states, and parts of South Carolina have realized what this really means only after some of their counties went ahead with these plans. As the old saying goes, it is hard to unring a bell, but some counties are working to undo them.
They tout these plans as "green infrastructure plans," but what they really do is restrict property rights and economic freedoms and give far too much power to the county seats, along with a lion's share of the revenue from business.
In 2007, former Vincent Mayor Terry Allen turned over all of Vincent's planning to Columbiana, which meant nothing would happen in Vincent without the approval of Shelby County. That was a bad move for the citizens and the town, but perfect for what Columbiana had in mind for Vincent; a massive quarry and the transforming of the rural town into a heavy industrial zone.
Mr. Allen knew this, everyone in Vincent Town Hall and Shelby County knew this; the citizens did not. They were purposefully kept in the dark until the dastardly plan was well in place. The quarry had acquired almost all of its land purchases by the time the news broke. The current Mayor, Ray McAllister, admitted in a press conference which was also quoted by the local newspaper that "The quarry reps asked for me for more time to get things in place before the news went public."
This was after almost all of Town Hall had slipped over to Childersburg for a day long series of secret meetings with the quarry reps on March 31, 2009. They were all asked to sign confidentiality agreements and have since tried to deny this in the local press. Almost all of them. Council person Smith refused to answer the reporter's questions, and Council person Reynolds feigned ignorance about them.
(See the "What Did They Have To Hide" link to the right.)
We just recently read the Wilsonville Comprehensive Plan, "A Place To Call Home" which was put together by Kristen Goddard Planner II of Shelby County. She has also been the county planner for the quarry and is on such good terms with WRQ President Jim Hurley, that she affectionately refers to him as Jim, usually with a lilt in her voice when doing so. It's really very cozy in appearance and angers Vincent citizens to no end to see them so friendly with each other. As well it should.
In a recent letter to the McCrimmon Farm, covered previously on this blog, Mr. Hurley states that the planners working on this quarry project are "my planners." We just bet they are, never mind they are employed by the county, WRQ seems to own everybody involved in this.
Shelby County had to lay off some planners due to the housing crisis gripping the nation (this comes from an inside source), something they have not done in years. Ms. Goddard is probably very eager to keep her job and even more eager to do what she is told to do, despite the fact that her actions are contributing to the destruction of a town and a way of life for a large segment of minority residents.
Wilsonville is closer to Columbiana and predominantly a white city. They get to have a Marina development on Lay Lake, a "Mayberry-style town with support to their existing rural agricultural endeavors" and the saving of their "green, rolling hills the residents have grown to cherish."
Yep, that is all in the Wilsonville Comprehensive Plan.
What does Vincent get? How about Harpersville which has a prime location right on Highway 280 to become a wonderful, thriving city itself? Too bad they are sitting on so much limestone, but wait a minute, so is Wilsonville. Why is there such a contrast in plans between these small, rural cities?
One need only look to Columbiana and their unending greed, seemingly thinly-veiled racism and intolerance for socioeconomically depressed people to find the answer.
POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS A NATIONWIDE ISSUE AFFECTING ALL OF US. ALABAMA RANKS #5 AS THE MOST CORRUPT STATE. *DOJ 2007 stats
Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton
PERTINENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORRUPTION ISSUES IN OTHER STATES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED
NO OTHER COMMUNITY, RICH OR POOR, URBAN OR SUBURBAN,BLACK, BROWN,RED, YELLOW OR WHITE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BECOME AN "ENVIRONMENTAL SACRIFICE ZONE."
Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder
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