Escondido, CA
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Planners should be careful about picking winners and losers

One of the problems with the government sticking its nose into every nook and cranny of existence is that it places itself in the position of picking “winners and losers.” Of course, that is exactly what some advocates of the modern activist state have in mind. But I think that most of us would agree that the public sector shouldn’t be deciding which business is better than another business. That should be left to the consumer to decide.

At the local level we have to resist the temptation to pick sides when the best thing is to let the marketplace work itself out and decide who shall live and who shall die (commercially, that is).

This week the Valley Center Community Planning Group was asked to take sides in a battle between two developers. One group of developers feels that there is too much commercial space allowed in the town center, to be divided between the North and South Villages. It asked the planning group to request a study from the County to determine if in fact there is “too much.”

Another developer in another part of town is livid because he feels that the first group of developers want to limit commercial because they want to kills his residential and commercial development in the crib.

It’s quite apparent that if the first developers get their wish and the County decides to limit commercial zoning that they will win at the advantage of the second developer. They would argue that they were here first and should be given proper consideration for their timeliness.

This seems to me to be a situation where the best course is to remain neutral. There is no reason to suppose that one commercial development is better than the other. It seems reasonable that the better of the two will be able to obtain the funding to hit the ground running and build first.

Good old-fashioned American competition seems to be the way to sort this one out, rather than deciding who should win and who should lose.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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