A Tradition Like No Other–Planning Poetry

Adapted from comments to the Albemarle County Planning Commission 12/10/2019

By. Neil Williamson, President

In what has become either a dreaded recurrence or a nice tradition, the Free Enterprise Forum annually presents a reworked holiday poem as a literary gift to the Planning Commission.

Last year, we altered the cherished Christmas Carol, Frosty the Snowman to bring you “Rio the Small Plan”.  In years past, we have penned such forgettable tomes as  Rudolph the Form Based Code and An Albemarle Planning Christmas.

So this year before we pack up our holiday fare and go over the riparian buffer and through the forest easement to grandmother’s house for the holiday we extend apologies to original songwriter Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard B. Smith as well as to Air Supply, Michael Bublé, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Selena Gomez, Amy Grant, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Radiohead, Frank Sinatra, The Eurythmics, and the many other artists who have recorded this Winter classic.

Walking in a Form Based Code (FBC) Wonderland

https://66.media.tumblr.com/ecff3bc1e8e6c760438085007abf61c2/tumblr_mo7d02gB3x1s04ecso1_500.gif

Electric scooters whirl

are you listening?

In the pedestrian oriented lane

snow is glistening

A beautiful sight

We’re happy tonight

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

Gone away, is the Euclidian dream

Here to stay, is Duany’s latest scheme

He’s singing a new urbanist song

and we blindly go along

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

In the code mandated meadow, we can build a snowman

And pretend that he is Property Owner Pete

Planning staff asks Pete ‘want to build Form Based’?

He says, ‘not now man

But with optional overlay, and phasing

FBC can’t be beat’.

 

Later on, planning staff will conspire

As they dream by the non-carbon emitting fire

To face unafraid

the mixed use, interconnected plans that they made

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

Electric scooters whirl

are you listening?

In the pedestrian oriented lane

snow is glistening

A beautiful sight

We’re happy tonight

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

Gone away, is regulating use

Here to stay, is the FBC Goose

Singing yet another new song

and we blindly go along

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

In the meadow, we can build an over encumbered snowman

And pretend it’s a vibrant mixed-use center

We have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman

Until Property Owner Pete can’t find renters

 

When FBC is mandated and micromanaging,

If its built, it ain’t filling

Local Economic Vitality could get a chilling

 

But make FBC optional, phased and flexible,

we’ll frolic and play

in the market driven way

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

Walking in a Form Based wonderland

 

Respectfully Submitted,santa neil

Neil Williamson, President

Original Songwriters: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith

Photo Credit: Tumbler

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