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The Bougie Chronicles - Episode 6: Compromise

“Look, I am not saying that there isn’t a place for R-3 zoning, but that is not the right spot.“ Mary argued. But the truth is, it had little to do with the zoning designation. She would be against development of any kind on that particular tract of land. She wanted it to remain wild and free for the deer to roam.

“Who are you to decide that? Don’t you live in an R-3 zoned area?” Becky countered. Like Mary, Becky didn’t want to see development in the area at all, but unlike Mary, she understood that development was coming whether she liked it or not and she saw that compromise was necessary.

“When I purchased my home, I was looking for a smaller one that was already zoned that way. It was a conscious decision on my part.”

“So, now that you got yours, you want to prevent others from having the same.”

“That’s not what I’m saying. There is a place for that type of home and it already exists. I know, because I bought one. We don’t need more. Besides, I am only speaking out on what many in our community feel. This City government is in bed with the greedy developers as much as the prior iterations were.”

“I am so tired of your constant complaints that the City Council is corrupt. If you have evidence of real corruption, then put it forward. As to the ‘greedy developers’? What makes them so greedy.”

“The City is corrupt. They always give in to the developer. Why do you think that it is if they aren’t getting something out of it? And the developer doesn’t even own that land, yet. They refuse to finalize the purchase until they are sure they can get what they want out of the City - which they will because of the corruption.”

Becky rolled her eyes at the corruption statement. That was Mary’s go-to whenever the City did anything she didn’t like. Ignoring that line of argument, Becky tried a different tack. If she could just get Mary to see the there side! She pointedly asked, “Would you buy a plot of land before knowing what you could do with it? I mean, think about it, if you purchased some land and later found out that you were unable to build a house, wouldn’t you be pissed?”

“That’s different,” Mary said.

Again, Becky rolled her eyes. Another pat response when there wasn’t a good one. Whenever Mary was challenged with logic, she responded that it was different. “How?” Becky asked, “How is that ‘different’?”

“For one, I’m not some big developer trying to throw my weight around to get what I want. I am not in bed with the City council.”

“So, your desires for your land; what you want; is somehow different from or better than what someone else wants for their land?”

“That’s not what I am saying. Nobody wants dense development in the area.”

“Well, that’s just patently false. Obviously, someone wants it or we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.”

“Sure, the greedy developers want it.”

“They wouldn’t want it if they couldn’t sell it. So there is obviously a market for these types of homes in the area. If not then the developer is so off-base on that belief that they won’t be able to sell the homes they build and they will go bankrupt. Somehow, I doubt they would take that risk.”

“Sure, there is a market for those types of homes, but they will change the very nature of our area. It won’t look like the same city anymore and the people who buy those smaller homes aren’t the sort of people that we want to attract here.”

“What does that mean ‘the sort of people that we want to attract’?”

“Don’t try and go there. You know what I mean. This area has always been populated by people with a certain level of disposable income that keeps the area nice and safe.”

“So, I guess poor people aren’t nice and safe.”

“You know that’s not what I’m saying. Don’t try to twist my words.”

“I’m not twisting anything. I am trying to understand your objection. Is it to having poor people move in?”

My objection is that more development means more people and traffic. We cannot sustain what we have now. And there are no plans to build proper roads to connect the new development to the highway that is already overcrowded anyway.”

“DIdn’t you stand up and speak against the plan to connect that one street to 620?”

“That’s different.”

“Why? Because it went through your neighborhood?”

“There are children in that neighborhood. Increasing traffic on that street puts them in danger.”

“There are children in every neighborhood on every street. So, I guess in your mind, it’s ok to endanger someone else’s children - just not yours.”

“Now, you’re just being stupid.”

“And you are being hypocritical. ‘I want better roads and connections’, you say - but not if it involves your street. ‘I want no R-3 development’, you say, only because you have already purchased yours.”

“I can’t talk to you, You clearly don’t understand.”

“Or, maybe I understand both sides because I am not blinded by my own bias.”

“I am not biased!”

“Your are more interested in arguing your point than you are in seeing the other side. You are more interested in getting what you want than you are in compromising.”

“We can’t compromise on this issue.”

“When we can’t compromise, democracy is doomed.”

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