The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 12, 2013

High density: Is this all you’ve got?

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I must admit that after I read John Lungren’s letter to the editor (“High-density housing will occur in Norman someday,” May 5, 2013), I was pretty irked — so many errors, factual and conceptual! 

After some reflection, however, my irritation faded into a sort of bemusement. Is this really the best that advocates of high-rise/high-density development (HR/HD) can do?

The elephant in the room, of course, is that the citizens of Norman — including the development community — already hashed out these issues in the summer 2012 High Density Public Discussion Series. 

After what was, frankly, an attempt to sell citizens on HR/HD, the majority decided that they would prefer to go slow in order to protect Norman’s current assets (especially its neighborhoods). The development community, however, spent the fall and winter trying to either circumvent or subvert that consensus. Mr. Lungren’s letter is just the latest effort in that process.

Usually, when a firm wants to sell you something, it tries to convince you that the product is good for YOU.  Mr. Lungren is trying to sell HR/HD, however, on the grounds that it helps entrepenuers. 

They are the ones, after all, who want to “[m]ake housing available,” “agree that there is a need for more housing … and want to satisfy this need,” and think “Norman needs to compete.” 

On the substance, these claims look false: housing in Norman seems fine as it is — few vacancies (as Mr. Lungren himself points out) combined with price stability, the hallmark of a well-functioning market. More importantly, this is just a weird approach.

It is good for salesmen to like their product, but aren’t they supposed to be convincing us? I don’t think we can trust HR/HD advocates to do a good job of safeguarding Norman if they can’t even get their own sales pitch right.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014