Smart Growth: Gore's "wrenching" legacy
By Henry Lamb
web posted April 29, 2002
Now that it has been thoroughly defined, there is no question that
"Smart Growth" is incredibly stupid. Al Gore used his bully pulpit
to popularize the term, and he used the power of his office to
redistribute $2 million tax dollars to the American Planning
Association, with a mandate to produce model legislation that
will impose Smart Growth on every state and every community.
APA assembled a 30-member
"Directorate" to oversee the project. All but one of the
members represent government regulators; one lone member
represented the regulated community. The work product is a
massive book of model laws from which state legislators may
choose in order to assure that Smart Growth is imposed upon
their cities and town.
It took seven years to produce this monster. Gore is no longer in
the pulpit. President Bush's Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development wants nothing to do with the document, but Gore's
running mate, Joe Lieberman, does. Lieberman and Lincoln
Chafee, and a few other misguided Senators are promoting the
"Community Character Act" (S-975), which bribes states with
more tax dollars to adopt and implement the model legislation
contained in Growing Smart
This project paves the way for compliance with United Nations
policy established first in 1976, by the U.N. Conference on
Human Settlements, and reaffirmed in greater detail in Agenda
21, adopted in 1992. The United States signed both U.N.
The details contained in the Growing Smart Legislative
Guidebook, would implement the recommendations contained in
Chapter 7, and Chapter
10, of Agenda 21. A close reading of the Guidebook,
compared to the two U.N. documents, will reveal that, if not
written by the same hand, they were all prepared for the same
Model laws provided in the Guidebook mandate that state laws
are coordinated with the federal government. And that local
plans be approved by the state. This is, in fact, federal
comprehensive land use planning, which transforms state and
local government into nothing more than administrative units for
the federal government. Since these model laws conform to the
policies of the U.N., the federal government is reduced to an
administrative unit of the United Nations. This is, in fact, the
essence of global governance.
So detailed are these model laws, that even the signs used by
small businesses would be required to meet size, color, and
content requirements. Parking, and even landscaping, must meet
requirements of the state-federal-approved plan.
These model laws provide for "administrative warrants" - without
probable cause - upon the complaint of a neighbor, or any third
party (read: environmental organization), for bureaucrats to enter
private property to investigate for non-compliance. Violations
are subject to criminal - not civil - penalties.
A "certificate of appropriateness" would be required before
interior or exterior changes may be made by local small
businesses, giving government wide discretion to manage the
affairs of its citizens.
This Guidebook, further empowers government to manage
society. It is another step toward the "wrenching transformation"
which Al Gore said was necessary in his 1992 book, Earth in the
Smart Growth, as touted by Al Gore, and defined in this
Guidebook, is not just stupid, it is regression toward socialist
oppression while being praised as progress by its proponents.
Land use decisions should be made only by local elected officials
who are directly accountable to the people who are governed by
those decisions. Americans do not need a U.N. conference to
decide how our land should be used. Americans do
need a federal government with enough backbone to tell the
U.N. to get its nose out of our business, instead of using our tax
dollars to impose U.N. policy.
Henry Lamb is the
executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation
Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International .
Enter Stage Right - http://www.enterstageright.com