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Your Views: Sprawl lowers costs and raises quality of life

POSTED: April 16, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Give me the sprawl. I love it. Hopefully, Hall County municipal fathers will attempt to get sprawl (according to the Hall County sprawl index published in The Times on April 12) down to 50 from its current 103.3.

Sprawl is good. In the past 10 years, I have visited each and every city listed in The Times as having the most and least sprawl. Happily, I reside in Hall County, in an area with half as much sprawl as the worst, most dense cities on the list. In cities with less sprawl (and a higher index number, like 200) means the cost of a 2,500-square-foot home will be $1 million to $50 million; parking for your car might cost $4,800 or more per year; annual taxes on your home may easily be more than $15,000 per year; a gallon of gasoline is probably $4.50 or more; and a whole chicken at the grocery store will be $10-plus, a steak, $25 to 50. If you live in a place with more sprawl, like Hall County, cut these costs by 50 to 70 percent, getting twice as much for your hard-earned dollars.

Plus, I know my wonderful neighbors, none of whom live on the same plot of land as I do. The population density of San Francisco results in 17,687 people living (?) within each square mile. In Gainesville, based upon 2010 stats, there are six — six, not 6,000 — people living within each square mile.

I’ll happily drive six miles in Hall County, past two to three people per square mile to Kroger to buy a chicken for half price and bring it back home to the grill within 30 minutes, rather than take a bus in San Francisco to Whole Foods and pay $10 for the same (but less fresh) chicken, returning home past 34,000 people (many of whom are laying prone on the sidewalks) an hour later, after walking up four flights of stairs to my 400-square-foot sunless apartment. But that’s just me.

Rick Frommer


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