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Friday, November 18, 2005

Lynchburg: The Grinch is in the City

The Lynchburg News and Advance is reporting:

"A local construction firm has obtained options to buy more than 100 acres at Lakeside Drive and the Lynchburg Expressway."

They continue to report:

"One of the two largest chunks of land is a more than 35-acre mobile home park off McConville Road, which according to city records is owned by J.W. Scott."

When you read the article you get the sense of scope and speed, that transaction is occurring. The article tells how the city is behind this development by English Construction Company, from the City Manager, to the Planning Commission, and to the City traffic Engineer. It appears to be a done deal that only needs the stamped approval of City Council. And you can almost see the smiles on the faces of increasing the tax base proponents, that reside in our local government.

I would like to tell the residents of that 35 acre mobile home park: Merry Christmas, the Grinch is on its way. We do not care if you are elderly, and we do not care if you are on fixed incomes. And we don't care that you will be displaced and have to leave your home behind. You are in the way of progress, and the street will be just fine for you.

Although, in the News and Advance report you can almost feel the sense of excitement, about how our city is changing to the good. There is an underbelly to this story that is not being reported. The tragic consequence for the people who live in that trailer park. Who is going to take up their banner?


At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't have your cake and eat it too.

You're either moving forward, or you're left behind.

Life sucks, especially if all you do is complain about it.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Gravy Beard said...

Being left behind for the poor is becoming a more common occurrence in our country and it is really sad. We tend to think of moving on as acquiring more stuff and riches when we should be thinking about making things better for all and not just thinking of ourselves...Greed is an ugly thing! Good post Bob!


At 2:39 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments. How many people are in a 35 acre mobile home park? The cost of this progress has a huge human toll. I object to considering people as just another landfill object to move. Many of these people live in old trailers that cannot be moved. Some have spent money on improvements, others have just finished paying for their trailers.

Yes life sucks for these people and someone ought to complain, how strictly commercial adventures are not taking in account for the human cost, which is great here.

The developers, and sadly the city are bulldozing right over these people. Someday, you may have a tragedy in your life. I hope that there are people that would stand by you then.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do some research to confirm what the plans are for those folks. Has anyone asked? Rather then getting bent out of shape tapping on your computer keyboard, go knock on doors and ask the people that live there. Get a copy of their lease (I assume they lease the lot, if not the trailer.)

If they are renting, their lease ought to address the issue. If it doesn't address the issue to their satisfaction, then they should have considered that before they signed it. Regardless, they knew up front what position they were in.

The point is, complaining doesn't get you very far. Otherwise, your blog offers nothing more than the local paper & Google.

I don't give me this crap about greed, rich, vs. poor. That is the same tired crap that been said since the beginning of time. Nothing changes, especially if all you do is complain about it. You’re fixated on money. Its not about money, it’s about responsibility (to yourself and your community).

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you to tell J.W. Scott (the owner of the park), or anyone else, what they can do with their property? Karl Marx? Maybe Scott needs to get out of it for some reason – not that it matters what his reason is – and this developer is the only one willing to buy.

What is your proposed solution? You could move to socialist France. Of course, your car might be burned by the poor people rioting in the streets. Hum, maybe the free market system, with all its faults, is still a better choice than the alternatives.

If you really cared so much about those people, I suggest that you go buy the property yourself – put your money where your keyboard is. Don’t have the money you say, then develop a business plan and find some other investors willing to put their money where their mouth is. Its a free country (supposedly). Good Luck!

At 1:55 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments. There are standard requirements for leases of trailer lots in the state of Virginia. The lease has to be based on a year. And if the the trailer park is sold at least 120 days have to be provided to allow residents to make arrangements.

If J.W. Scott has made further arrangements to help his tenants that would be admirable on his part. While I have not "knocked on doors," to see what arrangements have been made for the tenants, I also do not intend to. I am sure what will and what has not happened will be coming out if I do this or not.

As far as my reporting on this story, I was pointing out that News and Advance, while reporting many elements of this transaction did not report on what is going to happen to the residents of that trailer park. Currently, there are over 300 residents of Lynchburg that reside there.

As far as that this post was just complaining. I do not look at it in that perspective. On the other hand, I view it as drawing focus on an unreported part of the story.

Typically, trailer park residents in Lynchburg are a mix of residents that own their their trailer, and renters. Trailers that were manufactured before a certain date are not allowed to be moved again, no matter who is the owner.

Concerning the comment:

"I don't give me this crap about greed, rich, vs. poor."

That is an argument that I haven't proposed. But it was interesting that was what the reader assumed.

Concerning the comment:

"You’re fixated on money. Its not about money, it’s about responsibility (to yourself and your community)."

I do not see where you draw the conclusion that I am fixated on money, and I am not sure how you come to that idea, as far as responsibility to "yourself and your community."

I think what is going to happen to 300 residents plus in our community is all of our responsibility.

As far as the comments of the next anonymous poster.

"Who are you to tell J.W. Scott (the owner of the park), or anyone else, what they can do with their property? Karl Marx?"

For one I did not tell J.W. Scott what to do. And as far as proposing the question am I Karl Marx? I reported that paper did not report what is happening to the residents. A side of the story I personally felt should have been addressed.

Compassion is a human quality that we should all endeavor to possess. And I do not think that it is a quality that needs to be absent in our free enterprise system. Your crafted comparison to me and Karl Marx is a personal assault without basis in what I wrote. Nor have I proposed a communistic solution, I have proposed that we should not ignore what will be happening to these residents. And if 300 residents are displaced in our community is it not everyone's concern? Think of your neighbors would you not want to help them, and be concerned for their well being?

As far as just saying too bad for those unfortunate residents. I admire your honesty, but regret that you care so little for others.

Now as far as 300 plus residents that will be displaced, would this not be an important concern for our community to address?

Americans show compassion when a hurricane destroys a community, and aid their fellow citizens. What are the provisions that are being made for these residents of our community?


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