Brickbats

Brickbat: Green, Green Grass of Home

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Residents of the Francisville neighborhood in Philadelphia came together last year to clean up a vacant lot that had been used for dumping. They turned it into a greenspace with picnic tables and benches used by the community. But now the city, which owns the lot, has told them they will have to vacate it. City officials say it will be used for affordable housing, eventually, adding they'll be putting out a request within the next six months for qualified developers. "All of a sudden the city is interested in the lot," said neighbor Paul Donovan. "For 10 years it's been sitting empty, collecting trash."

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  1. They have a new 5 year plan.

    1. Determined through Central Planning.
      Your lot is next.

      1. And you know who else gad a 5 year plan?

        1. had

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        2. Matt Millen?

          1. A WR in every pot.

        3. Disney Star Wars?

          (Not even remotely)

        4. FIVE year plan? Stalin. FOUR year plan? Ummm, I don’t think the rules of this game allow me to say that name.

    2. Urine is rich in nitrogen. At first it makes your grass dark and lush, but after a while too much nitrogen builds up and it results in nitrogen burn ­.........MORE DETAIL.

    3. "I've got a right to that gold mine, too. Now that it's worth somethin'." - Charles Foster Kane's ne'er-do-well dad

  2. That is why I have dogs, they pee on the grass, it turns brown, no one wants my lot!

    1. Great plan until the government decides brown grass is a sign of blight.

      1. and racist cultural appropriation

    2. What are you feeding your dogs?

      1. Urine is rich in nitrogen. At first it makes your grass dark and lush, but after a while too much nitrogen builds up and it results in nitrogen burn.

  3. So they squatted on badly governed land, hoping to use it as their own, freely and indefinitely, then got caught.

    If they want to keep it, they should pay back rent, then bid for the land and try to buy it.

    1. It's public land, not private. I say they should charge the city for the clean up and removing blight.

      1. elect politicians that will withdraw the housing plan.

        1. too late, by the time they replace them with someone with the political will to withdraw the plan, the contract will be signed, opponents will claim they want to: waste city money on a contract dispute, deprive the poor of housing, lobbying/union groups will claim they want to cut jobs, increase unemployment, and after careful political consideration the new boss will be the same as the old boss.

  4. A small reminder why living in an area with high crime, high taxes, high prices, congestion, little parking, pollution and little say (aka a city) may not be for you if you have libertarian tendencies.
    Should the residents return the lot to its former “glory,” perhaps there will be no bids for the public housing project.

  5. "You didn't build that lot."

    "Nice little park you got there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it."

    CB

  6. I'd like to read an article on squatters rights someday. It seems these people would have a good claim that the land was abandoned and that they had made improvements upon it.

  7. "For 10 years it's been sitting empty, collecting trash."

    If residents of Philly are using it, it's still collecting trash.

    Ha, we have fun here but all joking aside it's called Filthadelphia for a reason.

    1. The City thinks it isn't collecting enough trash.

  8. No good deed goes unpunished.

  9. Just put up a sign declaring it a homeless encampment for colored people people of color.

    1. Raci...never mind.

  10. "We cleaned up your empty lot and made a park" isn't the issue here.

    "The city would like to use it's property for more affordable housing" isn't the issue, although it is closer.

    The real issue here is that the city believes that giving developers sweetheart deals on city owned land is the way to proved affordable housing.

    The only way to provide affordable housing is to allow the unfettered creation of more high-end and midrange housing. By restricting the supply of high end housing in the name of equity, they inflate the value of marginal properties.

    Were Philadelphia to allow developers to add 50,000 or 100,000 high end units to the market, the price of current entry level units would collapse, magically creating "affordable housing".

    Of course, current owners want nothing of the sort. They would much rather have their property artificially inflated in value by a government manufactured shortage.

    1. It's as if they believe that people moving into these new higher-end housing developments are burning down their old homes down after they leave rather than having someone from perhaps a lower income rung move into the property.

    2. The way this is done in Philadelphia is that the city councilperson in whose district this lot is located has dictatorial-level powers over all development-related decisions, since quite a few city-controlled hoops have to be jumped thru to get a project like that shepherded along.

      Several ex-city councilpeople are currently in jail or are ex-cons based on not doing this the Philadelphia-way---which is of, course, not preventing graft from seeping into this process, but rather, ensuring the equitable distribution of the graft generated by this process.

      If you do a google street view of 823 N. 15th St Philadelphia 19130 you can see what the lot looked like in August 2019. As empty lots go in Philadelphia, at the time of the Streetview, it was pretty damned clean. If you do a lap around the area in streetview, you see why it is clean---new in-fill housing and rehabbed existing housing is a classic case of gentrification of a former shit-hole neighborhood. The new rental properties that face this lot seem to be around $375k-425k on average.

      https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/?searchQueryState=%7B%22pagination%22%3A%7B%7D%2C%22usersSearchTerm%22%3A%22823%20n%2015th%20street%22%2C%22mapBounds%22%3A%7B%22west%22%3A-75.1642826822672%2C%22east%22%3A-75.16114449771977%2C%22south%22%3A39.96783913284545%2C%22north%22%3A39.96955353073808%7D%2C%22isMapVisible%22%3Atrue%2C%22filterState%22%3A%7B%22ah%22%3A%7B%22value%22%3Atrue%7D%7D%2C%22isListVisible%22%3Atrue%2C%22mapZoom%22%3A19%7D

  11. I thought this was going to be about drug songs.
    Green green grass of home
    tea for two
    smoke gets in your eyes
    etc

  12. All, ALL, governments are assholes; NO exceptions.

    Those who work for asshole governments are parasites, who love to be assholes. NO exceptions.

    Just remember these two little facts and your life will be much better for it; or at least you won't spend your time, effort, and money fixing up a piece of land that doesn't belong to you, and then act all surprised and indignant when they take notice and decide it's worth something. Did you honestly expect a city government to appreciate what you did? Not in the makeup.

  13. Those people stole the city's garbage and moved it! Finally, a crime so egregious that Larry Krasner will have to prosecute!

  14. No good deed goes unpunished.

    Unmentioned is who the lot's owner is. Half the story is right there, but ignored.

  15. "City officials say it will be used for affordable housing,..."

    I think they meant to say it will be used for tax-payer funded housing for those too stupid to get a job earning more than minimum wage, if they can get a job at all.

    1. They certainly don't mean it will be used for the mud huts that are within the budget of a permanently no-skilled worker.

  16. Putting a methadone clinic/hospice would be the ultimate kick the locals’ balls.

  17. the time they replace them with someone with the political will to withdraw the plan, the contract will be signed, opponents will claim they want to: waste city money on a contract dispute, deprive the poor of housing,
    https://wapexclusive.com ,lobbying/union groups will claim they want to cut jobs, increase unemployment, and after careful political consideration the new boss will be the same as the old boss.

  18. “Eventually.”

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