Growth or not in my backyard?


I’ve been treated the past week to a show of sorts.

large-hydraulic-excavator-2576750_640.jpgHeavy construction equipment movers have been working on a large plot of land that sits on my way to work. Huge bulldozers have been pushing large mounds of dirt and sand, big excavators have been digging out holes for drainage pipes, and Earthmovers have been moving debris from one spot to another.

The little kid in me who used to love playing in the dirt with my nearly indestructible, steel Tonka dump truck loves seeing all the big machinery. If I felt it was safe to do, I would pull my car off to the side of the road in a heartbeat to sit and watch the bulldozers and excavators do their thing.

In any event, the property has been turned upside down in a matter of days.  I drive by in the morning and there’s a plethora of workers in yellow vests and activity, I drive by again in the evening and the property looks night-and-day different.

A long line of cars

wheel-3853539_640.jpgFor years now on my way to work, I’ve passed the property. If you hit the section of road at the wrong time of day, cars and trucks stopped at a traffic signal a half-mile up the road, snarl and snake their way back to the property. With nothing else to do, I’ve often found myself staring absentmindedly out my car window at the land. A farmer grew corn and soybeans on the property a few years ago, but in recent years, it has sat idle.

I figured the property wouldn’t sit idle for long, and, sure enough, it hasn’t.

Good or bad

dump-truck-3080177_640.jpgWhat will go the there? I have my guesses. Slew after slew of cookie-cutter McMansions? A new convenience store? Sheetz or Wawa, which will it be? Both are good guesses.

While I like watching the Earthmovers do their thing, I have mixed reactions when  I drive by and see the coming changes.

On one hand, I’m happy to see the development. I’ve never been much of a not-in-my-backyard naysayer. Change is a part of life. If the property is zoned a particular way, who am I to tell the farmer he can’t sell his land to a developer?

digger-1453526_640At the same time, however, I’m saddened to see the farmland, or even now, the grassy open space, disappear. The township the parcel of land sits within has a dwindling number of farms. I suspect this might be one of the last in the suburban township.

Whatever comes, I’m sure the property will just mean much of the same, more housing and related big box development and less of what is needed the most: farms and industry. If the property were to become a factory or machine shop of some type, it would at the very least, contribute to the tax base. I suspect the chances though are pretty remote.

It’s all about me

machine-3023876_640.jpgIn the end, “the rude, obnoxious, it’s-all-about-me Brian” hates the change because whatever the property becomes, it’s going to mean more traffic for my commute! Yes, in the end, I’m just like everyone else, I worry about what it will mean for me.

Now if they would just put in a six-lane highway from near my house to my work, then we’d really be in business. (Yes, I’m kidding.)

In the meantime, I’ll live with the outcome no matter what.

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