Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CT Not Sustainable says Ken Camarro

Dear Heidi:

Warning: Connecticut is not Sustainable!

I don't think the talking points are strong enough.

A lot of the key raw material you need were presented at the Lyceum forums.

Declining fertility rate
Increasing number of dependent children and seniors supported by each worker
Doubling of senior population by 2030
Decline and emigration of 25-34 age group which removes the state's vitality -- no place to live or work
Decline of student population by 100,000 by 2030
Need to reurbanize and resuburbanize our more high populated towns and cites along and around each of the transportation arteries, greater densities near Xportation
Need to plan for a population requiring fewer auto miles per day
Decline of manufacturing jobs and sketchy plans for the replacement of historic economic engines
Actuality that 100 SG/SC building examples built around the state will show the way and create new job types and industries such as new types of materials, constuction methods, and deliver lower costs to operate, also smarter density, better sustainability -- those are the measures
The new england states rank in the last decile for new housing permits. There is such incredible prejudice toward a balanced housing plant
Rhode Island is in dire distress
Our TP&Z commissions and key local government leaders are in denial and provide pandership not leadership, and are avoiding our systemic problems -- I invented a new word -- pandership
See also this weeks Time magzine for article on repurposing suburban malls and the forecast for the coming surplus of 4 bedroom colonials
Your points on the leverage of housing and transportaion are good but we need to scare everyone with the "Warning."

I am in the process of writing a white paper that I will distribute to the committee.

I read your talking points and they do not show how dire is our process for land use in CT because of the use of obsolete local zoning and building regulations. The commissions that use these are obsolete. They are not producing sustainable outcomes.

You have to declare functional obsolescence of these regulations and force them to defend them. Then you go for the throat --- all the bummer projects.

Based on my attendance at the one Lyceum meeting, and review of the two sets of presentations the 6th and the 10th, the weight of the evidence shows that CT is in systemic decline and that a multi-disciplined land use approach must be employed across the state.

You have to deal with fear of loss on a local basis.

We need to reurbanize and resuburbanize via a new mix of buildings by type, and surrounding infrastructure by location. We have to evangelize the fault lines that run with Euclidian zoning and show why sustainability, as an encompassing goal in SG/SC, is the solution. It does not take away property rights, it modernizes them.

Believe me, the trajedy is not loss of farmland, which is hard to stop in the rural areas, it's the lack of Sustainable Design Requirements in the front end of each town's Plan of Conservation and Development which is the enabler for SG/SC. This is what they did first in Hamden and in Mansfield Center.

This is very elegantly presented in the Mansfield Neighborhood Partnership documentation.

Storrs Center Design Guidelines for a Sustainable Community

A 45-page vision statement, set of inspirations, and architectural planning toolbox

This is part of what the Legislature has to enact so that the towns move in a cooridanted direction.
More to come.
Ken Camarro

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