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We’re all newcomers in the end

Who are all of these newcomers streaming into our area?

Many of them are poor and uneducated. They seem to lack the means to take care of themselves.

Unless we do something to stem this influx, they may overwhelm our resources and thereby diminish the quality of life of long-established residents.

Or so said, perhaps, some members of the Kalapuya tribe in 1814.

Anyone not directly descended from the tribe that inhabited what is now Yamhill County for the 8,000 years before Europeans started mucking up the place is in essence a newcomer with no right to complain about others following in their steps.

Of course, humans are instinctually territorial, on both micro and macro levels. So it’s no surprise to find many residents bristling when talk at city hall turns to the need for more housing to accommodate the 11,800 new residents expected to settle in McMinnville over the next 20 years.

The city needs at least 5,000 new homes — no mean feat, given the critical shortage of buildable land in the urban growth boundary as it’s currently drawn.

Maybe if the homes weren’t built, some reckon, the people wouldn’t come. Then McMinnville could enjoy the fruits of a stagnant — perhaps even declining — population.

The problem, of course, is that those fruits inevitably rot.

Never mind the hypocrisy of people whose families were once strangers in this community, no matter how many generations ago, now wanting to pull the welcome mat out from underneath everyone else. The need boils down to pure mathematics.

Cities with stagnant or declining growth soon find themselves unable to cover the cost of basic services. The cost of services rises between 5% and 7% annually. Without growth, property taxes increase about 3% because of limits mandated by Measure 50. Thus, if construction and population growth fail to keep pace, the results can be catastrophic.

For an example, drive 177 miles to Coos Bay, where population growth has slowed to 0.82% annually in an already economically battered region.

People want small, quaint towns. Coos Bay is an example of a city so small it’s stagnating. As a result, quaint has packed up and moved on.

People are going to move to McMinnville whether those already here want them to or not. If new residents lack housing opportunity, home prices and apartment rents will continue to skyrocket for everyone.

Growth is inevitable. Failing to plan for growth is imbecilic.

Comments

Jim

Your editorial staff needs to do a little more research on Coos Bay. The left wing environmental zealots stopped the growth in Coos Bay. This towns jobs were dependent on two major job markets. Timber and fishing were both hit right square in the rear end by the wackos that have invaded this state. McMinnville is becoming the same type of town invaded by California’s influx of people trying to change our town. When you have a glut of service jobs instead of timber and manufacturing it’s hard to house those people without jobs that pay a living wage with benefits. The left can’t continue to tax this state into submission or none of us will survive.

gregtompkins

Who are all the newcomers ? Idealistic liberal Californians who “know best.” And their illegal aliens to do the work they don’t want to do!

Joel

Not sure who wrote this article...but as I read I kept hoping to come to the part that would reassure us about traffic congestion. Alas, that part never came.

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