July 27, 2017

Invasion of the Property Snatchers

You see them almost every day, sitting in local resturants, hovered over the tables with real estate brochures in one hand and maps in the other, on a constant qwest for the dream of country living.

After eating, they fan out like locusts, devouring farmlands, hilltops and viewsheds. Yuppies on the prowl, ready to pillage and plunder the countryside.

Local and out-of-town developers, blinded by visions of quick bucks, feed this frenzy, carving up the land into tidy little plots, threatening to turn the countryside into just another vast vista of rooftops.

Yes, growth is coming to Floyd County and the pain that accompanies such growth is just starting. Approval of new subdivision plats have doubled in the last year, ranging from one acre lots for cookie-cutter log homes to a massive, gated monstrosity of 39 25-acre divisions that will fill the hillsides near Twin Falls with overpriced, sprawling architectual nightmares.

Some come here and try to do it right. We have friends from Charlottesville who are building a modest home on some wooded acreage just off Franklin Pike. They’re preserving the trees and natural beauty of the landscape. But too many others clear cut ridgelines so they can plop a large house right on top or end up in a development that threatens to turn the county into just the type of subdivision-riddled nightmare they fled the city to escape.

It can happen here. It will happen here unless the residents demand accountability from local elected officials who have, to date, been only passive observers of the invasion of the property snatchers.

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