Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Director Debra Campbell tells me city planners and the city-county police department will study crime rates in and around gated communities to see if the gates really do reduce crime. (So, will they also be looking at crimes such as tax fraud, insider trading or Ponzi scheming? If you've lost your retirement savings, you might consider those white-collar offenses worse than just simple auto break-ins.)
Friday, March 06, 2009
Campbell said at a recent City Council meeting that the city doesn't currently have a policy about gated developments, although its street connectivity policies would discourage them. Planners generally think gated subdivisions work against such things as a sense of community, social capital and mixed-income neighborhoods, in addition to bollixing up general traffic flow.
It's a welcome attempt. Gated developments derive much of their popularity from the general belief that they're safer. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I know we have often vacationed at a gated beach community, in which there are gated developments inside the gated development. So, um, if you need those extra gates, does that mean the first set of gates doesn't work? Who, exactly, are you trying to keep out? If it's that journalistic riffraff, well, the gates aren't working.