On another site today, Reid Greenmun delivered another of his periodic attacks against urbanization. The Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) has done it previously before City Council. My point: urbanization is a process already underway that the Virginia Beach City Council couldn't put the brakes on tomorrow even if they wanted to.
If you think urbanization can be legally stopped, read the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code. A number of areas in Virginia Beach are already zoned in a manner that would allow for urban redevelopment by right: the Strategic Growth Areas, the Resort Area, and the western portion of the Shore Drive Corridor. You can't go back and downzone the areas now: Loudoun County tried to downzone to slow growth and were nailed in court.
Demographic urbanization is also underway. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer Whites lived in Virginia Beach in 2007 than in 1990. What population growth we've had for about a generation has been entirely minority.
Why bring up the matter if race? When some say they are "anti-urban", in many circles that's taken as "anti-minority". That's especially true of the VBTA. First, the VBTA has never had a minority member on it's Board of Directors. Second, when running for Mayor last year, John Moss didn't even go to a candidate interview with the African-American Political Action Committee (AAPAC). Knowing African-American turnout on November 4 would account for about 30% of voters, Moss & Robert Dean blew off the African-American community leadership. (The slight was noted.) Third, when the VBTA attacks a process they should know can't be stopped, it smells of playing the race card to scare people.
Urbanization in Virginia Beach is underway and the City doesn't have the legal means to stop it even if they wanted to. Therefore, the question is whether or not we want to urbanize is moot. The real issue is how do we manage the process.