All Your Stuff Are Belong To Us

From the Washington Post

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman sharply defended his effort to require stricter
environmental standards for commercial and residential builders after the
measures drew sustained criticism during a lengthy County Council hearing this

“We expect less-than-enlightened developers will continue to oppose”
the legislative package, Ulman (D) said Tuesday. “We’re going to continue to
work with the council. I think the citizens of Howard County want to see some action.”

Heh. “Less than enlightened.” This sounds vaguely like something that would have come out of Peking (ooops, Beijing) during the Cultural Revolution.

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There really is more below the fold.

On the surface it is hard to object to the proposal.

The bills require that large new buildings meet industry-accepted
certification standards for energy efficiency and environmental design after
July 1, 2008. The county would offer five-year property tax credits ranging from
25 to 75 percent for owners who meet increasing levels of energy efficiency and
conservation in their buildings.

In addition, the administration wants to promote green design in new
neighborhoods by using a checklist that assesses features such as a
subdivision’s transit access, building materials, native landscaping and stream

These are all laudable goals and I’d say, even as a conservative, that I have no objections to a county or municipality using their authority to require this.

Where we come to the issue is in implementation.

To promote this approach, the administration has proposed reducing annual
housing allocations in the county’s rural west by 100 units and making them
available to environmentally sensitive builders.

This is a typical Marxist command economy approach found so often in jurisdictions owned and operated by Democrats. It isn’t enough to establish a policy, Democrats want to ensure the right people benefit from those policies. In this case, presumably “the enlightened.”

Choosing economic winners and losers inevitably leads to corruption such as that as we’ve seen occur in the infamous Kent Island land deals. There we have the same broad set of facts. A right policy was in place (the preservation of open space) and all that remained was for the right people (O’Malley cronies) to benefit from that policy.

But it isn’t just certain “un-enlightened” developers who are punished. The persons being punished are those land owners (emphasis on the word “owners”, not serfs, not trustees, not tenants) who now are being deprived of their ability to sell their land for development because the right people, the enlightened, the worthy, are being rewarded.

Mildred Nixon and her son Randall said they’ve planned for years to sell
the family farm in West Friendship for development, and they’re worried about
costly delays if the region’s annual housing allocation is reduced.

“It’s unfair to me to take the allocations from the rural west and have
them available to the whole county as a green allocation,” said Mildred Nixon.
“Waiting for the allocation has been very costly to my family.”

Costly indeed.

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