Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Pointing out the obvious: our economy is bad. I read articles that say it's getting better, things are turning around, it is all going to be ok. I don't yet believe those articles. I want industry to grow, people to obtain jobs with adequate compensation, for our world to not seem so gloomy.

So it is with this mindset that I find myself, conversely, fighting against a growing business.

We purchased our house in January 2009, next to my in-laws, who built their dream home and have lived it in for more than a decade. Our home was about to go into foreclosure, and we saved it. We renovated it. We improved its value immensely. We had planned to enjoy our starter nest, to start our family there, until we, too, were able to one day build our own dream home.

So our dismay was great when we learned that the beautiful, natural field behind our house might be sold to a nearby factory, for expansion purposes. They plan to put in a big, bright blue building, with an access road for heavy semitrailers and the new 24-hour staff. All this would be 75 feet from our backyard.

75 feet is a far smaller distance than I'd previously ever thought.

We are already awoken by crashes from this factory dumping their excess at 5 a.m., but they are currently far enough away, and work two ten-hour shifts. It was not much more annoying than the train, whose whistle blows each time it enters town. A mosquito buzzing, a minor inconvenience.

But now they want to put this factory and this road nearly in my backyard. And I am not happy about this. Next door, a playset for the children who live in government subsidized apartments would be just feet away from this access road. A church would become completely landlocked by the factory and access road.

I can't imagine what this will do to the property value of our and my in-laws' homes, and our peace of mind.

So off we went to the city council advisory meeting last week, to explain our position and our concerns. The factory vice president also presented his position, and the advisory committee truly gave him a harder time than I'd expected. They were in a difficult position - we've known many of the members for years, even been taught and mentored by some of them. They don't want to be against economic growth, but they wouldn't want this near their homes either. The meeting was relatively moot as the actual city council itself will come to a decision on November 1. We will be there, too, pleading for an alternative solution.

I don't want to be against economic growth. I don't want to be against the opportunity for job creation. But I don't want a factory in my backyard.
Our backyard extends to the nearest line of small trees in the picture. And then, a factory. We are distraught.


Katie said...

so sad... I hope it works out for you!

blind irish pirate said...

Yeah... I want to tell people... go economically grow someplace else. Can't you leave the trees and grass INTACT!?

I really, really hope you get your outcome.