The wonder of libertarian zoning laws, West, Texas edition

  • metta

    Posts: 39082

    Apr 22, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    The wonder of libertarian zoning laws, West, Texas edition

    West Fertilizer Co in West, Texas.

    West-texas-map.jpg?1366392955

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/19/1203241/-The-wonder-of-libertarian-zoning-laws-West-Texas-edition?detail=email
  • metta

    Posts: 39082

    Apr 23, 2013 6:47 PM GMT
    Cable news and Rick Perry sweep Texas fertilizer plant's poor regulatory record under the rug


    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/04/23/1204225/-Cable-news-and-Rick-Perry-sweep-Texas-fertilizer-plant-s-poor-regulatory-record-under-the-rug
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 23, 2013 6:50 PM GMT
    So Texas allows exploding factories to be built next to residences and retirement homes? Should we be surprised? It is Texas, after all.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2013 9:14 PM GMT
    "Everything's bigger in Texas", including its tolerance for industrial accident carnage, apparently.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 23, 2013 9:14 PM GMT
    Texans don't believe in zoning ordinances. That is why land use patterns are a horrendous mess throughout much of that state. Where else could you go and have chemical factories next to retirement homes, oil refineries next to elementary schools, skyscraper office towers next to single family houses, gay bars next to baptist churches and an endless sea of overhead power lines, billboards, pawnshops, and third world style traffic congestion. In the idiocy of native Texan thinking, zoning ordinances violate freedom.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2013 10:08 PM GMT
    "But, but... the plant was there first!"

    Apparently, the plant was a longtime grain/feed silo for local farmers that expanded their operations to fertilizer storage and distribution later, maybe less than a decade ago. But even grain silos go kablooie every now and then (Atchison, Kansas was the most recent one I recall), and apparently the town's zoning council was not familiar with (I won't say ignorant of) those explosions or the infamous Texas City, Texas disaster when they made land use decisions to allow the encroaching of the plant with housing, schools, and a senior center.

    Their lack of forethought ("planning," cough) doesn't excuse what seems to be lax safety precautions at the plant, which I read supported a whopping 8 employees. They already had a scare two months prior that caused a school evacuation:

    http://media.star-telegram.com/smedia/2013/04/18/07/21/IyWkx.So.58.pdf

    It also doesn't excuse the lax governmental oversight at plants like these, at the state and federal levels, and the lax attention to the budgets necessary to keep such oversight properly functioning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2013 10:43 PM GMT
    Some zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 27, 2013 2:39 PM GMT
    msuNdc saidSome zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.
    It might make for better and more diverse scenery, but the almost non existant zoning laws can be murder on property values. Good luck selling a nice single family house that has non conforming land uses as next door neighbors.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 27, 2013 2:57 PM GMT
    Since the State of Texas is so blindly libertarian on land use/zoning laws, probably a very appropriate site to rebuild that fertilizer plant would be in downtown Austin across the street from both the Governors Mansion and the State Capitol. A large combination of ten blocks bounded by Colorado Street on the west, Eleventh Street on the north, Trinity Street on the east, and Ninth Street on the south could be condemned and cleared to make room for the West Fertilizer Co. newly relocated factory. That would bring many new blue collar jobs to Austin and the fertilizer plant would be a welcome addition to the Austin cityscape. It would also help uphold Texas libertarian policies for business to do as it pleases. The only disadvantage to the Austin site is that there is no railroad line serving it. That problem can be solved by condemning and tearing out the full length of Ninth Street and permanently replacing it with a full service freight railroad line. There that solves rail accessibility problem.icon_lol.gif
  • metta

    Posts: 39082

    Apr 27, 2013 3:45 PM GMT
    ^
    Isn't Austin the most progressive city in Texas? I have always heard good things about Austin. icon_smile.gif


    msuNdc saidSome zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.


    Environmentally, building up rather than out is better. It reduces resources necessary for transportation.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 27, 2013 3:48 PM GMT
    metta8 said
    msuNdc saidSome zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.


    Environmentally, building up rather than out is better. It reduces resources necessary for transportation.
    Yeah that is the better way of development but it violates freedom according to most Texans.icon_lol.gif
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 27, 2013 4:14 PM GMT
    metta8 said^
    Isn't Austin the most progressive city in Texas? I have always heard good things about Austin. icon_smile.gif


    msuNdc saidSome zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.


    Environmentally, building up rather than out is better. It reduces resources necessary for transportation.
    Most of the good things you heard about Austin are hyperbole. Trust me on this one, I lived in Austin for nine years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 27, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
    For clarification, was that really a fertilizer factory in West, Texas, or a storage and distribution facility for area farming?

    Of course, it doesn't alter the fact that what was being stored there, ammonium nitrate, wasn't properly identified or approved at that site. And its danger for explosion not communicated with local authorities. So that some of the dead victims included first responders, who, unaware of the nature of the threat they faced, raced right into a deathtrap.

    But I'm confident the Perry Administration will make sure it's all glossed over, and nothing will be done to prevent a further tragedy like this. After all, it's all about business being in charge and making the rules, right? And the lives of people are merely the cost of doing business.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 27, 2013 4:30 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidSince the State of Texas is so blindly libertarian on land use/zoning laws, probably a very appropriate site to rebuild that fertilizer plant would be in downtown Austin across the street from both the Governors Mansion and the State Capitol. A large combination of ten blocks bounded by Colorado Street on the west, Eleventh Street on the north, Trinity Street on the east, and Ninth Street on the south could be condemned and cleared to make room for the West Fertilizer Co. newly relocated factory. That would bring many new blue collar jobs to Austin and the fertilizer plant would be a welcome addition to the Austin cityscape. It would also help uphold Texas libertarian policies for business to do as it pleases. The only disadvantage to the Austin site is that there is no railroad line serving it. That problem can be solved by condemning and tearing out the full length of Ninth Street and permanently replacing it with a full service freight railroad line. There that solves rail accessibility problem.icon_lol.gif



    Ha-ha-ha-ha....Dear Rob, you just love, love, LOOOVE, TEXAS! Don't you?! I can sure find you in every topic that has Texas on it.
    BUT, I must admit you are some what right on this one. If it was up to me I'll build a fertilizer plant right across Ted Cruz-nocchio's office, and blow it!
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Apr 27, 2013 4:39 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidFor clarification, was that really a fertilizer factory in West, Texas, or a storage and distribution facility for area farming?

    Of course, it doesn't alter the fact that what was being stored there, ammonium nitrate, wasn't properly identified or approved at that site. And its danger for explosion not communicated with local authorities. So that some of the dead victims included first responders, who, unaware of the nature of the threat they faced, raced right into a deathtrap.

    But I'm confident the Perry Administration will make sure it's all glossed over, and nothing will be done to prevent a further tragedy like this. After all, it's all about business being in charge and making the rules, right? And the lives of people are merely the cost of doing business.
    At this point, it really doesn't matter if it was an actual fertilizer plant or a storage facility, human lives were needlessly lost in the small town of West. If the State of Texas wants to be so extreme libertarian about this issue than it is time for them Texas politicians to practice what they preach by allowing this fertilizer plant/ storage facility to relocate and build in downtown Austin right across Colorado Street from the Governors Mansion and across Eleventh Street from the Texas Capitol. Ninth Street would have to be permanently eliminated for the development of a freight railroad line to connect the Austin site but so what, who caresicon_question.gif Now the state politicians can live and work right next door to the creation of their libertarian policies.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 27, 2013 5:22 PM GMT
    Well after the media leaves (what media? There was no media- oh, they were in Boston) heads will turn and ppl will forget. Except those whom were affected by a preventable tragedy. Sadly our politician are a bunch of idiots but, there's a better Texas ahead of my generation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 27, 2013 7:25 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    If the State of Texas wants to be so extreme libertarian about this issue than it is time for them Texas politicians to practice what they preach by allowing this fertilizer plant/ storage facility to relocate and build in downtown Austin right across Colorado Street from the Governors Mansion and across Eleventh Street from the Texas Capitol. Ninth Street would have to be permanently eliminated for the development of a freight railroad line to connect the Austin site but so what, who caresicon_question.gif Now the state politicians can live and work right next door to the creation of their libertarian policies.

    Well I would agree with putting hazardous commercial operations right next to the TX State capitol and the Governor's Mansion (both of which I've visited when I lived in TX).

    But of course you know that will never happen. In Republicanland there are always 2 standards: protections for politicians and penalties for the people.

    And in Perry-land Texas you can be sure that no business that supported the Republican Party will ever suffer. But if this West fertilizer company was slack in its Republican Party campaign contributions (aka bribes), well then they'll be screwed. Be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Meanwhile Republicans in Congress are scrambling to send millions of dollars to a few thousand harmed by a possibly criminal industrial accident, while they blocked aid to millions in the Northeast harmed by a natural sorm disaster called Sandy. Interesting how Republicans play politics when it comes to disaster relief. Aid your political allies, but punish your political foes, even with public money that belongs to all of us.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 27, 2013 7:29 PM GMT
    msuNdc saidSome zoning laws are necessary and this was one of the examples. However I enjoy the lack zoning laws when it comes to the tall buildings in Houston. Makes a better scenery and allows traffic to be spread out not all 2 million cars headed towards downtown.


    Houston really is unique in that aspect.

    Besides downtown, the Uptown area, Greenspoint, and the Medical Center have bigger downtown areas than most cities.