The height of hypocracy

Discussion in 'General Industry Related Topics' started by justme, Feb 18, 2003.

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  1. foX

    foX

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    38
    pswope: Embarrassed? No, takes more than that, LOL. Amused? Absolutely. Not many around from my original posting days in the summer of 1997. And yes, I did post on EA and the original TBD (when it was on daschboard) using my real name, LOL. Boy was I naive!

    justme: Will I become a prolific poster again? Naw. I only post when I have something new to say, and the older I get the less I know and, thus, the less I have to say.

    Caitlin, thanks. It was so much fun seeing you a couple weeks ago!
  2. pswope

    pswope One out of three

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    Hey
    there was no intent to embarras the man. been a big fan of foX's *since the days he used to use his own name(I think) as his handle(EscortAmerica and before).

    *even invited him to a working girl/ john bowling tournament and bbq many years ago.
  3. Re: Re: Ok, I'll quit now

    Agreed.

    It's good to see you here, foX.
  4. SkellyChamp

    SkellyChamp

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    It is difficult and generally somewhat unfair to compare one cities zoning needs and procedures with anothers because it is always apples to oranges.

    Houston is a young city with the majority of its growht in the last 40 or so years. It is also extremely spread out with an almost limitless ability to grow outwards (obviouilsy the distances one might be willing to travel affect that as well as non-auto means). Its needs are quite different that a New York (let's limit it to MAnhattan) or a Boston which have been developing for hundreds of years and which have geographical restrictions.

    Zoning is a balancing act and does serve a legitimate purpose tho that purpose may be different in different places. Zoning in a crowded city like New York comes into play by helping to keep residential areas residential. By keeping businesses like gas stations from building too close to schools or residential areas where the ground and water always becomes contaminated (of course, it is always interesting when the schools come to the gas stations).

    It also comes into play in a multitude of other areas such as protecting light and air from being blocked off by other construction.

    And of course zoning is a trade off not only in Boston. New York develpers get variances or special permits to exceed building height, bulk, setback, etc. restrictions in exchange for building open areas and plaza and other public places all the time. It is a necessary evil in places like New York.

    And the "free market" zoning lends itself in may ways to unscrupulous activity. I could if discretion didn't forbid give you an example of a developer in the Houston area building a manufacturing facility near a residential development. That had the effect of devaluing the homes located near the facility because no one wanted to live near it. Guess who bought out the homeowners at below market cost and was able to expand his business and sell at a profit to bring in other businesses. Certainly one could argue that it was smart business and maybe had other positive attributes but at what cost.


    And foX you are absolutely correct

    "I have friends that live in Manhattan and downtown Chicago amidst and on top of every kind of business. I have friends that live in Tira Texas and commute 70 miles one way to work each day in Dallas. Some people can’t wait for business to build close to where they live, and some want to live as far from business and urban life as possible.

    If you live in a city with a zoning ordinance (basically anywhere in America but Houston, Texas) and you DO care what uses you are next to, then it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the zoning in your surroundings. Also, you should be involved enough to know when adjacent or nearby parcels are up for a change."


    I, obviously, believe in the importance of zoning, certainly in big cities like New York. The problem with our zoning is (1) the complexity of the Zoning Resolution (originally drafted in 1961)which needs to be totally consolidated and simplified and (2) human nature which is where all the big developers scheme and plot and use the law (properly so legally) to milk every square inch of buildable space out of a lot.



    Cause my favorite has nothing to do with zoning at all. I can build a house of religious worship on any fucking lot I want regardless of zoning restrictions and you can moan til the cows come home and it is tough shit.
  5. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    Re: Ok, I'll quit now

    The only flaw in this line of thinking is that the owner probably did choose a somewhat discrete location. As I mentioned earlier, I'm sure the nieghbors are unaware of what's going on (if they were, I think all sorts of hell would have been raised by now). It is precisely because I partake in this stuff that I know it is a brothel. If I weren't a whorehound, I'd probably be oblivious.

    So there is a correlation with my own personal habits and extracurricular activities.

    But, as you mention, I think I still have a right to expect not to live next door to an illegal enterprise (especially with my rent).


    Hey, I know PSwope embarassed you earlier, but let me say that I think it'll be fantastic if you start posting here with some frequency.
  6. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    1. I think the problem is that lame pussyshit is much funnier than suburban retard. So while you'll draw equal criticism for both, you'll only get praise for one. Also, a suburban retard can convince himself that he's not a lame pussyshit but I don't think a lame pussyshit can convince himself that he's not a suburban retard.

    (in a somewhat related note, I got a ton of shit when I moved 1/8 mile outside the loop (610 is kind of an informal barrier for true urban Houstonians))

    2. I just spit water all over my desk.
  7. foX

    foX

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    Ok, I'll quit now

    The original question was: Is it hypocritical to complain about a brothel moving in next door if, in fact, you use the services of brothels?

    Zoning or no zoning, you have a right to assume that a brothel or a crack house or some other illegal business will not move in next door to you. The fact that you participate in the hobby may make you feel guilty about complaining, but it should not.

    You would expect that the owners of a brothel would understand the dynamics of their marketplace, legal or not. One important dynamic for an illegal enterprise is to choose a location that does not call attention to that activity. Locating a brothel in a place where one’s activity is likely to be discovered and reported to the authorities is bad business at best, and just plain stupid at worst. Regardless of your own personal habits or extracurricular activities, you have a right to expect to not live next door to an illegal enterprise.

    As to SkellyChamp’s question "And that’s a good thing???????"

    And of course, that’s the rub, is it not?. Is it a good thing? To some, perhaps it would be a good thing, to others, perhaps not.

    I have friends that live in Manhattan and downtown Chicago amidst and on top of every kind of business. I have friends that live in Tira Texas and commute 70 miles one way to work each day in Dallas. Some people can’t wait for business to build close to where they live, and some want to live as far from business and urban life as possible.

    If you live in a city with a zoning ordinance (basically anywhere in America but Houston, Texas) and you DO care what uses you are next to, then it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the zoning in your surroundings. Also, you should be involved enough to know when adjacent or nearby parcels are up for a change.

    If you live in Houston, and you move in next to a piece of property that would be perfect for an office building, and living next to an office building offends you, then you’d better look elsewhere or buy the property yourself.

    What people fear most is change. Some years ago McDonalds bought a piece of property in a New England state from the owners of a porno book and toy store. In order to build a McDonalds restaurant it was going to require a zoning change. McDonalds showed up for the hearing supremely confident that they would be seen as heroes, replacing a seedy sex shop with American apple pie and Big Mac’s. Imagine their surprise when the townsfolk showed up with pitchforks and torches shouting, "kill the monster!" It seems the good people had no problem with the quiet, unassuming porn store, but the idea of all those cars in the drive through, and the rowdy teenagers, and the smell of onions... well... it seemed just awful.

    foX
  8. foX

    foX

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    Human nature

    All the folks that moved to Phoenix for their allergies.... first thing they did is plant grass and trees from back home, LOL. Now there is as much pollen in Phoenix as in Nashville. Human nature, ain't it great?
  9. justlooking

    justlooking

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    25,481
    1. How come people react better to "lame pussyshits" than "suburban retards"?

    2. You think that's bad, you should have seen what some of the lame pussyshits did with respect to the trannie hookers in the Meatpacking District. (Although the best part was the other lame pussyshits, who in a quest for authenticity wanted to keep the trannie hookers as sort of neighborhood pets.)
  10. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    Shit, I think I just convinced myself.
  11. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    Actually, the single lamest thing that's happened to Houston lately is the huge influx of lame pussyshits that got tired of their commute and started regentrifying. Idiots move into downtown lofts, next door to a night club that's been there for years, and then have the audacity to complain about noise levels.

    Or even more prevelant (and painful) is the trend that's happening in my favorite neighborhoods where lame pussyshit demand for Starbucks and fucking Chiles is forcing independant, funky stores out of business.

    They come from the boring ass suburbs to 'cool' neighborhoods so they can have bragging rights to their yuppie friends, and then they turn around and slowly make their new home just like the 'burbs.

    So I'm definitely sensitive to NIMBY/BANANA issues.
  12. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    See, one cool thing about no zoning is that I can live less than a mile from work and pass by six different 20 story office buildings on the way there. In most cities, the area I live in would be zoned for commercial office space, and there would be no chance of an apartment complex being built.
  13. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    SC - I think it's a good thing (but most non-Houstonians don't). It just makes the city more 'democratic' in some senses.

    But remember, even though companies are not governed by zones, they're still governed by common sense. No one is going to build a 20 story office building in the middle of one story ranch homes because the traffic generated by the tower couldn't be supported by the neighborhood's infrastructure. Not to mention that businesses tend to like to be close to other businesses.

    People build when they undesrtand a demand for their building in the location the want to build. In a sense the free market determines zoning. And like in all things, the free market sometimes produces results that people don't like, but it still tends to produce better results than central planning.

    Anyway, if you want to live like a lame pussyshit, you can move out to the Woodlands or Kingwood or any of the other master planned communities (Houston was the first place with master planned communities) out in the 'burbs.
  14. popeye

    popeye

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    1,935

    Skelly,

    You are absolutely correct. But the leverage that local planning commissions use with developers is the threat of a protracted approval process. This is why developers would often provide concessions in the form of improvements to neighborhood streetscape, lighting, and sometimes utility infrastructures- depending on the impact of the development. So for an expedited approval process the developer provides some improvements to the community. In Boston for example, city planning officials unabashedly ask developers what they are offering, or tell the developers what they are looking for. Boston is a remarkable town, but I digress.

    I just wanted to agree with you, and also note that many an inexperienced developer has lost their financing and project due to a drawn out approval process because they didn’t know how to expedite things. You will get approved if your plan is legit, but the question is when.

    Pop
  15. SkellyChamp

    SkellyChamp

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    Say a developer owns a piece of property in Houston right next to a residential development of million-dollar homes and that developer wants to build a 20-story office building on his land. As long as he can meet the ingress and egress requirements, setbacks, parking requirements, environmental restrictions and the rest of the rules of the ordinance covering that use, the residents of the neighborhood can complain ‘til they’re blue in the face, but the plat will be approved and the building permit issued.





    And that's a good thing????????
  16. justlooking

    justlooking

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    Hey we should get that "dirty old streetwalk" to come here and join in the discussion.
  17. justme

    justme <i>pop and click tainted</i> Vinyl ( is dead )

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    Hey, like I said, I like the results of Houston's stance on zoning. I think it's pretty damned cool that I live next to the incredibly diverse types of places (GB's House, William's Tower, the Galleria, and Treasures, that I do.

    But there's no development ordinances for brothels or any other illegal business. And I've been "close" to enough illegal businesses to know that sooner or later the shit hits the fan, and you don't want to be anywhere near them when it happens.
  18. Slinky Bender

    Slinky Bender The All Powerful Moderator

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    So if it's by class rather than location, what's the answer to the thread title?
  19. foX

    foX

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    Zoning 101 & Houston

    Zoning is a system where a bunch of guys and gals that graduated from Harvard or Berkley with masters’ in urban planning carve up all the privately owned land on a big map, a la the allies at Potsdam, and label each hunk with a zoning designation which limits its use to a specific type of development. It is quite Byzantine, actually, especially if you look at the hypocritical value judgments that are made by these planners. Generally, planners try to create master plans using zoning by stepping down (or up) from one use to the next based on use and density and the perceived “goodness” of the use. Zoning is akin to land-use socialism, in that the government--rather than the owner and the marketplace--decides what uses are appropriate for private property.

    At the top of this pyramid of goodness is the single-family home, and at the bottom is the factory. For example, you wouldn’t want a convenience store too close to high end single family residential zone, but its OK to locate the riff-raff renters living in apartments next door to a 7-11. Or have you ever heard the argument that building an apartment complex or shopping center across the street from a neighborhood will “lower” the property values there?

    And as far as corruption? For all the "structure" zoning is supposed to bring to a city, it really brings a myriad of complexity and exceptions that ultimately create far more opportunities for corruption that in Houston’s Owner-Use system.

    In Houston, the Development Ordinances are essentially a set of rules governing the implementation of every covered use. Whether you are building single-family dwellings or skyscrapers, gas stations or refineries, you have to meet the building and development criteria for that use. For instance, if you are developing residential lots for single family homes, there is a minimum lot size, a maximum lot coverage, side, front, and rear setback requirements, and requirements for sidewalks and infrastructure. But NOTHING says you can’t develop those home lots right next door to a mall or an office building if you want to.

    Simply put. It is the juxtaposition of land use that zoning seeks to control and that Houston is missing. The actual rules for each use are pretty much the same in Houston as anywhere else.

    Say a developer owns a piece of property in Houston right next to a residential development of million-dollar homes and that developer wants to build a 20-story office building on his land. As long as he can meet the ingress and egress requirements, setbacks, parking requirements, environmental restrictions and the rest of the rules of the ordinance covering that use, the residents of the neighborhood can complain ‘til they’re blue in the face, but the plat will be approved and the building permit issued. The neighbors can only object to the use if it does not conform to the ordinances, i.e. the developer is asking for a variance to parking requirements, setbacks or something like that.

    Man, am I out on a tangent or what?

    foX
  20. SkellyChamp

    SkellyChamp

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    Re: i am shocked! SHOCKED!


    Here is your whore, monsieur.

    Thank you.