Thursday, March 8, 2012

How About We Waste a Big Chunk of Land?

Every now and again someone comes up with an incredibly stupid idea. Canned cheese. Sweat pants with crap written on the butt. The film "Drive Angry 3D". And then there's the idea that the city of Washington, D.C. should use tax incentives to entice the Washington Redskins to move their practice facilities to a big chunk of land in Southeast.

Let me make this much clear--we're not even talking about having the actual stadium and NFL games played here--just their practice field. What sort of bullcrap is that??? What benefit does it bring the city to get a chance to pay good money just to watch practices (and you can bet a cheap bastard like Dan Snyder would continue to charge spectators good money for the chance to watch the players practice)? Why not just re-name the city as "Snyder's Bitch"? Then I can tell people I'm a resident of Snyder's Bitch, D.C. Foreign diplomats can travel from their home capitals to the U.S. capital, Snyder's Bitch, D.C. Even Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland can get in on the action, as part of the Greater Snyder's Bitch metropolitan area.

See, if Snyder wants to locate his practice fields in D.C., he should of course have the right to buy or lease a large tract of land at market rates, paying applicable taxes, etc., for his operations there (and the property taxes if he buys the land). That's free market, no problem there. But the last thing the city needs to do is relax any regulations or give up tax revenue to try and encourage this. It isn't much of a job multiplier to use so much space as a practice field (which, presumably, would be blocked off to the public--at least a city park would have some quality of life benefit for residents), and it wouldn't provide much revenue source for the city compared to other uses. What better things can be done with a big chunk of land by the river just past the Capitol Hill area?

1) Encouraging developers to put in housing--with rent costs and house prices going up in the area, this could fill growing demand.

2) Encourage developers to put in retail strips--restaurants, storefronts, offices--to bring some jobs, revenue, and street life to the area which would discourage crime and provide benefits to the local community and the city at large.

3) Massive open-air markets enabling startups and small vendors to sell their wares far more cheaply than renting mall space. This would encourage entreprenurism right in the heart of the city.

4) Large public parks. Not a revenue-creator, but at least improves quality of life provided it doesn't turn into a haven for stalkers and flashers.

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