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Big ideas and big houses

The Carolina Journal's January issue has an article about Raleigh's updated Comprehensive Plan as well as a story about the fact that Planning Director Mitch Silver lives in a 3,565-square-foot home in North Raleigh.  Titled "Green For Thee, But Not For Me?" the latter article also notes that Silver owns a Toyota Highlander.

The city's updated Comp Plan, of which Silver is a key architect, is designed to encourage urban living and more transit options and generally move the city away from the sort of sprawling suburban development that has characterized much of Raleigh's growth over the last 30 years. In the article, Silver says he eventually plans to move to a new home in Raleigh and bought his house quickly when he was preparing to move to Raleigh from Washington D.C. in 2005.

So what to make of this? Is Silver a hypocrite for living in a large house in the Evans Mill subdivision in North Raleigh and advocating that the city try and move away from such living? Would he have more credibility if he was living above a retail store in North Hills and taking the bus to work?

It's not all that surprising to learn that Silver lives where he does. For all the ambitious goals in the updated Comp Plan, it should be noted that the city is a long, long way from transforming itself into something that resembles a transit-friendly city with lots of urban living options.

What do you think? Is it fair to criticize the housing and transit choices of Silver, City Manger Russell Allen or any of the elected members of Raleigh's City Council? 






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