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What Rural Consensus? 


Mary Carr writes ("Mailbox," July 4) that the supes properly "updated" the guiding principles of the General Plan by cutting out any language supporting "increas[ed] restrictions on resource land subdivisions," "developing affordable housing," or "discouraging low-density residential conversion of resource lands," etc. She claims that language — originally added in 2004 to reflect the consensus view that Humboldt County doesn't want and can't afford unchecked rural development — is outdated in light of unspecified "additional input that came in after 2004." She claims that input shows that "rural people" support unrestricted rural development, but just couldn't attend the "poorly advertised" GPU meetings back then. Ms. Carr makes a very weak, if not disingenuous, case.

That case rests entirely on the claim that the guiding principles had to be changed because rural people support unrestricted rural development, but Ms. Carr doesn't point to any evidence to support that claim. Should we simply assume the rural population's views are identical to the ones in the glossy brochures prepared by Estelle's Fennell's patron Lee Ulansey? Besides, the great bulk of the county's population is composed of "urban people" — don't their views count? And moreover, why would rural people support development that would inevitably degrade their rural lifestyles?

Let's be honest, no one supports making it easier and cheaper to build houses in rural areas except people who would profit from building them, because it doesn't benefit anyone else. And it was people who would profit from building those houses who created and funded the HumCPR, and paid for Bohn and Fennel to get on the Board. The guiding principles were "updated" because those people wanted it to happen, not for any other reason. The suggestion that "rural people" simply support rural development for some unspecified reason (because they love having their roads clogged by traffic, and their open spaces filled with McMansions?) is specious.

Bill Hassler, Mckinleyville

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