Is the only good land developed land?

It seems every time I visit Florida, the old saying favored by some real estate people and politicians – “The only good land is developed land” – comes to mind. For it seems that many suburban areas in the Sunshine State seem to see their land personality changing almost daily. Orange and grapefruit orchards become housing or commercial business landscapes. And it seems they often can’t widen or construct highways fast enough to keep up with traffic congestion.

The irony of the ongoing developing craze there is that rather than improving the overall appearance of the area, it usually does just the opposite as the older developed areas inside the newer ones often become eyesores as business and developers leave to relocate farther out and nearer the most recently developed lands. These abandoned suburban buildings and lots create a rather negative appearance as one drives from the outskirts toward the city limits. I call it the “Herd Mentality,” As the first more distant development pops up, many others, including older existing ones, follow and relocate.

On a much smaller scale we can see how this works locally. It hasn’t reached the scale of larger urban areas yet, but there’s sufficient visual evidence to see how it impacts the landscapes outside our city and village limits. The first step is new and some established businesses locate or relocate beyond the city or village limits, meaning more asphalt and construction replaces the natural habitat there. Utilities are necessarily extended to feed their needs. Electric, natural gas, water and sewage services further require installation and modification to the developing area.

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