It is one of those of Thomas Jefferson most cited words about religious freedom: âIt doesn’t hurt my neighbor to say that there are twenty gods, or no god. He doesn’t pick up my pocket or break my leg. It’s a nice line, because it’s not just about tolerance, but acceptance. It’s a mystery to me why Palm Coast, which at least claims to be a tolerant city, doesn’t apply the same principle to the commercial truck in its neighbor’s driveway.
I don’t see it any differently. Just as it doesn’t hurt me if my neighbor is white, black, Zuni, Trumpy, Lutheran, or Luddite, it doesn’t hurt me if my neighbor has a work van or car with psychedelic lettering in the driveway. It hurts me even less if the pickup replaces one of those ungodly SUVs or cars that people insist on parking outside. In fact, I prefer the work van: it’s more aesthetic, because it’s less pretentious, more Blades of grass than Bonfire of vanities.
Would a work van affect the value of my property? Of course not. Our own real estate appraiser officially says so. âI don’t have anything to say that if someone pulls Fred’s Electric down the driveway, it will crush the value of the property next door, or even measure it,â real estate appraiser Jay Gardner told me.
This would apply to any type of utility vehicle of a similar size with a scale on top or crazy wild lettering on the side, even if it was a company lettering with the caveman mentality. Anyone who claims it affects values ââis making assumptions from the same playbook that tells us that since Palm Coast has banned such vehicles for 20 years, they should have it for the next 200, or that people who move in. now should know the rules that have prevailed during these 20 years.
But any city, any county, any country changes as people change. Every time a government changes a zoning rule, noise ordinance, or stacking neighborhood, it adapts to new residents, to new realities. A city, at least a city that does not rot, is an organic creation that renews itself with each arrival. The population of Palm Coast has tripled since its incorporation. But in many ways the town still claims to be a Tuscan village, when in fact it continues to be little more than any old suburban sprawl, interchangeable with a thousand dogmatic landlord associations like this one across the country. He has a chance to be better than that. It’s choosing to be in a coma instead.
Palm Coast is more unique for its police bans than for its dynamic allocations that recognize the changing landscape of work. I remember in 2012 when the city council had the opportunity to relax its rules for controlling businesses in residential areas and allowing home bakeries. This killed the idea under false pretenses. He missed a chance to save the city from a lethargic and outdated interpretation of the geography of work. The same lethargy oppresses us now. Despite the lessons of Covid, which are revolutionizing the meaning of the âworkplaceâ and finally recognizing – and respecting – the autonomy of workers, Palm Coast again refuses to adapt, as if working conditions and the economy in 2021 were identical to working conditions in 1999.
For those who don’t work, maybe they are. Lucky. Half of the inhabitants of this city does not work. But if retirement is a right, it is not a baton to discipline all those who still work, especially those who fix air conditioning and plumbing and the infestation of cables and cockroaches in the homes of those who do not. do not, or paint the walls that close on those who have decided to end their days playing golf, wait for their next medical appointment and bitch about the workers who make their lives easier.
Palm Coast City Council this Tuesday vote on whether to keep the current regulations in place or to allow some relaxation. The council vote seems predicted against a change. It would be a shame, especially on a board where each member claims to be pro-business, for more jobs, more diversity and more tolerance.
Three council members, including Mayor David Alfin – a real estate agent – and Eddie Branquinho – married to a real estate agent – oppose changing the current rule, even though Palm Coast, as the Observer found in a survey of 10 cities of similar size, is a relative outlier when it comes to this kind of draconian ban. I hope one of the three opposing board members will change their mind. If there’s one thing we need in this city, it’s not older, repulsive, and complacent people like me (and most of the people in the local office), but young, energetic, and hard-working people who don’t. don’t think about answering calls from work at all hours of the day. This is the new economy, especially in this city, where half of the population depends on the services of the rest.
It’s not like today’s aisles are a tasteful gift. Most of them are filled with brilliant vulgarities on the assembly lines with no more flair than a metal mule – “technological ugliness mixed with romantic fallacy in an effort to produce beauty and profit”, like Robert Pirsig said. that irritable old classic. Palm Coast would be on more solid legal ground by banning all vehicles from driving in the aisles. What are these garages for, anyway? As it is not so inclined, one should not play the taste of the wheeled police, or favor a cop to bring a patrol car home and spend that extra half hour a day with his spouse and children. , while forcing the electrician or painter to waste it. time to park the van elsewhere. It’s not just against blue collar workers. It’s anti-family.
No one is asking for the aisles to be transformed into parking lots more worthy of Sodom and Gomorrah than they already are. Apart from the exaggerations and the alarmism of the pseudo-ascetics, the only change would be to allow a Single A very modestly sized utility vehicle – nothing bigger than a van or pickup – to park in front without the wrath of the Palm Coast law enforcement brigades descending on the offender. Boats, recreational vehicles, dump trucks, buses and other highway giants would not be allowed.
The change would be barely noticeable for most, and would make a huge difference to some. It is no longer a majority rule issue that if the majority of white Palm Coast residents decide not to allow Latinos to barbecue in their backyards, blacks to have a beer in their driveway, or single moms to have swings on the grass. Obviously, this would never wear. I do not see how the discrimination against trades workers is any less offensive. Let us not put workers’ rights to a vote. Let’s defend them.
Pierre Tristam is the editor-in-chief of FlaglerLive. Contact him by email here. A version of this play aired on WNZF.