by Tim Enloe; Accessmilton.com
Since the incorporation of Northwest Fulton county came about in 2006, city authorized committees have sprung up covering everything from land use to traffic to historical preservation.
While each group has a certain purpose and goal, the overwhelming majority of members consist of those residing in Milton's newer subdivisions. Suburban neighborhoods that now sit on lands which were rural farms not too long ago.
Such a fact is not meant to infer that those living this clustered lifestyle are of a different caliber or not worthy of an opinion. I have had the honor of meeting and working with some wonderful families who cherish this type of living and more power to them. After all, if the shoe fits, wear it.
The problem lies in the fact that such members of these various committees are accustom to a certain way of doing things with HOAs, covenants, and control. Many have never lived any other way. With that in mind, perspectives of this caliber can carry an innocent bias.
I have been present at meetings as a mere spectator. Other times, I have attended as an actual member. It is not uncommon to hear suggestions of proposed road widenings and discussion for zoning being allowed in some areas while not in others.
In one instance, a member who lives in one of the newer subdivisions wanted to "encourage" any future residential development allowing lots of a minimum of three acres and nothing less. I found this to be hypocritical considering their home sits in one of the one acre lot subdivisions built in the 90's. A lifestyle supported by this family due to their purchase of such.
Another suggestion included limiting any land disturbance 100ft past a property line into private property. The purpose? To insure that commuters would not see any future subdivision houses from the roadway as they speed by. Such an idea hinders the value of a land owners property greatly as it limits what could be done.The funny thing is this particular individual lives in a subdivision which is easily seen.
Finally, while the roundabout debate continues, there has been quite a bit of support for this proposal to encourage traffic flow. These supporters would not be the ones losing land to the city in the process, however - an open road neighborhood resident would be.
These are but a few examples of proposals being encouraged which could eventually become bond. Suggestions being fueled by the majority on these committees which consist overwhelmingly of those of the subdivision lot. This disproportion must stop.
In order to bring a fair and balanced perspective to each group, the city council should be required to have an equal number of open road neighborhood and subdivision residents on each panel. This approach would not only bring a clearer perspective of those living one way as opposed to another, it would also encourage objectivity across the board and fuel unique solutions.
Should the city choose to keep the status quo, then expect the open road neighborhood land owners to cry foul eventually and with that, a domino affect of negative proportions will ensue. Remember, it is not wise to anger a giant.