COMMENT follows excerpts.

April 25, 2000
Mobile County's Road To Land Use Planning
by Bill Patterson, The Harbinger

EXCERPTS from Harbinger article:

There is no zoning or land-use planning in the unincorporated areas of Mobile County....

The principle unit of local government in the county's unincorporated areas is the Mobile County Commission.....

But the county's involvement with subdivisions is limited, The Harbinger learned....

Effort To Control Growth Through Roads

The main planning for growth is the county's highway construction program....

For comprehensive planning for roads, the county relies on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The Harbinger talked with Bill Morgan, a planner at the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC)...

Morgan said the federal government requires "any entity in any urban area with over 50,000 people" to be part of an MPO if it wants to get federal transit dollars, and he knows of no city of any size that is not part of an MPO....

Morgan said the MPO has broad responsibilities....

The MPO does little to plan for growth, according to Morgan....

Morgan added that while new roads can act as "catalysts for development," growth in Mobile County has been too rapid for the highway planners....

The Path To Home Rule

Commissioner Jones believes the county will not be able to plan for and regulate growth until the state legislature grants the county Home Rule....

Jones said the county needed Home Rule because "it would give the county the local authority to develop and implement plans that address our land use, zoning, water and sewer needs."...

The Harbinger talked with Jeff Jordan of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs about planning and regulation by Mobile County....

Jordan also suggested Mobile County adopt planning and zoning districts like Baldwin County's....

Jordan wondered, however, if there is the political will in the county to enforce the greater regulation required by community planning....

What Other States Have Done

Land use planning and zoning are not new concepts....

In 1975, Florida enacted standards for local land-use plans in counties and cities....
The Harbinger, P.O. Box U-980, Mobile, AL 36688-0001



In the Harbinger article Commissioner Jones (now in the State Legislature) and now it seems Commissioner Ludgood still want the City of Mobile to grow continuously so as to take over the whole County after the example of big cities such as New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, etc.. He refused to discuss the KYMAK proposal with me for reasons he did not explain, except to say he does not like architects; however, Federal Planning Statutes require new centers of population to prevent continuous growth of big cities as I explain on my Memo page. Commissioners have absolute power; thus, Thomas Jefferson said County Commissioners were the most corrupting force in American government.  Dillon’s Rule in Alabama should have prevented this, but it has been ignored; an amendment to grant Home Rule to Counties in Alabama is only in order for a Big City People's Republic but not in Our sacred Federal Union according to Dillon's Rule which would probably work if the County Treasurer as Legislative auditor would enforce the Planning Code by way of budgeting and assessing. This is possible now in light of the KYMAK concept. It would limit the power of County Commissioners and rightly return the power-of-the-purse to the State Legislature where it belongs under Dillon's Rule. As things are the Commissioners have somehow gained absolute power.

State law gives authority to the Governor; The Regional Planning Commission is empowered to make and adopt a Commprehensive Master Plan; from these guidelines Municipalities can develop and adopt their own master plan. Regional Master Plans are under the authority of the Governor in Alabama as are other planning agencies such as the State Highway Department, The State Development Office, The State Department of Economic and Community Affairs, The State Dept. Of Environmental Management, etc. thru which Federal dollars are channeled to local government. Each Municipality must make and adopt a master plan to receive Federal money. None of them have done that, but they may say they have; if they had it would have been filed in the County Probate Court. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Jeff Jordan's suggestion that Mobile County adopt planning and zoning districts like Baldwin County's is similar to what KYMAK does for Mobile County and every other County in the Nation but in a more orderly, aesthetic and systematic way.

Federal law requires new centers of population to prevent contiuous growth. Thomas Jefferson said, "The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body." Jefferson, as an architect, saw the problem of big cities in Europe while he was U. S. Ambassador to France. Judging from the Federalist Papers, #17 written in 1787 to explain the intent of the Framers of the U. S. Constitution, State and Local Government has usurped the powers delegated to Congress concerning taxation and the regulation of commerce. Congress has in return usurped the powers reserved to the States. Corruption of local officials was what Jefferson saw as the major problem with County Commissioners – this is probably an even bigger problem in our big cities but there were no such big cities in America in 1800. That was our greatest virtue and can yet be, simply by the design of cities in an orderly and systematic way as required by laws.

FP#17 makes that very clear: "Allowing the utmost latitude to the love of power which any reasonable man can require, I confess I am at a loss to discover what temptation the persons intrusted with the administration of the general government could ever feel to divest the States of the authorities of that description. The regulation of the mere domestic police of a State appears to me to hold out slender allurements to ambition. Commerce, finance, negotiation, and war seem to comprehend all the objects which have charms for minds governed by that passion; and all the powers necessary to those objects ought, in the first instance, to be lodged in the national depository.". Jefferson said, "The management of commerce is a function best left to individuals, but the regulation of commerce in the public interest, to the extent provided by the Constitution, is the business of Congress."

The prevailing bad habit of continuous growth of the big city dem on strates how the love of power and the lu st of domin ation works. Also see, See James Madison in F.P. #46, "These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone".  This habit employs an army of lawyers to defend it, to keep the money flowing. In his essay on Power, Emerson noted, "All successful men have agreed in one thing, — they were causationists. They believed that things went not by luck, but by law" 42U.S.Code Section 5301 (b)(1) “ requires new centers of population just as much as healthy growth of an organism does - one overgrown cell can kill the body.

The Chamber of Commerce is composed of such gentlemen as Hamilton describes in The Federalist #12, ”The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. By multiplying the means of gratification, by promoting the introduction and circulation of the precious metals, those darling objects of human avarice and enterprise, it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of industry, and to make them flow with greater activity and copiousness.” . They bring in developers to the County but tend to overextend their influence; this suboptimizes the end result and decreases the benefits to society. They ignore the law which expresses the will of the people and seek to change the law; the criminal element resorts to intimidation to maintain their do minance over the development process - ignorantly assuming the site selection role of the Architect in the building process. Highly trained design and construction professionals, learned professionals, equal in their field of knowledge to doctors and lawyers, cannot function as we desire when under such duress; this is uneconomical, wasteful and counterproductive - a dangerous and destructive practice that has resulted in confusion, disorder and imbecility in government. The role of the architect in site selection as restored by KYMAK assures a healthy aesthetic that would conserve public health and safety by reducing the causes of crime and mental illness resulting from disorderly development and urban sprawlcities of confusion. They know how to make money but not to spend it. When people use their intuition in matters of which they know little or nothing they are gentle, peaceable and reasonable; but it is a crime to resort to intimidation to get your way.

"Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment. Then you put all gainsayers in the wrong. Then you are the world, the measure of right, of truth, of beauty. If we will not be mar-plots with our miserable interferences, the work, the society, letters, arts, science, religion of men would go on far better than now, and the heaven predicted from the beginning of the world, and still predicted from the bottom of the heart, would organize itself, as do now the rose, and the air, and the sun."... (Spiritual Laws) Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Wealth has its source in applications of the mind to nature, from the rudest strokes of spade and axe, up to the last secrets of Art. Intimate ties subsist between thought and all production; because a better order is equivalent to vast amounts of brute labor." Emerson Essay on Wealth

(Intelligence is capital)

As taught in schools of business management one grand fundamental principle of free enterprise as in American Democracy is that Government cannot compete with private enterprise; and it can only be regulated at the Federal level by the United States Congress. That goverment is best which governs least - when each and every Citizen governs his or her self by their own personal self-control by well known principles of divine and natural law.



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Updated 8/31/09 (Renewing 7/15/14 ~ 8/15/14)edit Comment 2/21/2019