I let Angel run for a good part of the walk. She seems to mind better the first day or two that I am home. The novelty of having me around trumps the delicacies of a Redneck's garbage pile.
Lately I've been thinking about the uproar over the zoning changes for the Foothills. The zoning changes are of a "no growth" variety--that takes into account such unheard of things as "winter deer migration critical habitat".
At odds with the large landholders are the size of lots that can be sub-divided. The new proposal puts it at 20 to 120 acres (Foothills conservation zoning). What the large Landholders want is a "Foothills Recreation" zoning--which allows parcels to be divided up in 2 to 10 acre lots.
Our Ridge was divided up twenty years ago into the 2 to 20 acre allotments. Twenty years later there are exactly ten households that live here full time. Off the grid. The majority of the lot developments sit empty (good!). Or with absentee landowners. They are mostly in states of disrepair and follow the progression I have set up below.
I picked just two properties to highlight--but there are many more.
I accidentally loaded them backwards, but in the photo below you see first the small trailer that a Redneck moves into. Followed by the mobile home.
Large mobile home on this property (trailer two)
By my best guess, 75% of the lots that were divided up are abandoned. Most have trailers (like these) in various forms of disrepair. A few were burned up in the fire two summers ago.
This is what I call "Tin Can" development of our beautiful foothills. This is what happens when an isolated rural area (25 miles to the nearest grocery store) is opened up to 2 to 10 acre parcels.
So what happens? A Redneck buys a property and immediately moves a small trailer on to it. They don't have the money to dig a well. But dreams are big. "We will get to it" is commonly said (I know this from experience).
Later, a bigger cheap mobile home is hauled in. Electricity is provided by an older, run down, loud, polluting, held together by duct tape and chewing gum generator. No septic system. Human waste is (in some cases) flushed off the side of the canyon.
After a few years of living this way, the Redneck abandons the property. Usually they abandon the property because they are sick of driving thirty miles to a job site. Or they enter into a relationship with a woman who they can't talk into living "off the grid" with no water or a sewer system (women are kind of funny that way). The other thing that happens in this kind of development is that the Redneck ends up in prison as their pot growing operations get busted, have too many DUI's or they get into one too many bar fights (this happened last year on our Ridge--we shall see him back in a few years).
Butte County is wise to end this sort of parcel breakups in the Foothills area. This sort of development most certainly has not worked out for our Ridge. It would be better to have these "tin can" eye sores separated by 20 to 40 acres, rather than the current arrangement.
Leave the majority of the land to the deer, mountain lion, skunks, possums, bear, rattlesnakes, tidy tips and the mariposa lillies. We don't need any more ugly trailers!