Don Marti

Sat 27 Dec 2008 07:32:43 AM PST

A local food success story

John Robb points out a two-acre intensive urban food operation: the Community Food Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ("In fact, it's pronounced 'mill-e-wah-que' which is Algonquin for 'the good land.'") And here's The Great Reboot: "America does need a reboot but it can't be achieved through top-down stimulus or reconstruction. It has to start at the bottom and grow organically."

There's one problem that needs a good top-down smack on the reset button, though. It's way too hard to start turning suburbia into locotopia with the maze of laws and contracts that restrict potentially productive land. We need to abolish all zoning laws and CCRs that restrict making energy, building communications infrastructure, growing food, or doing nusiance-free businesses on residential parcels. We can't afford the Suburban Zoning Police telling us that we must devote our land to ostentatious, useless lawns and driveways. They can get honest work feeding the tilapia or something.

There needs to be a simple statewide process for getting rid of CCR restrictions on a lot. Maybe pay $20, wait 90 days, and if nobody sues you to make you retain it, it's gone. We can't have a Great Reboot as long as the dead hand of some real estate developer from the days of $0.29 gas is on the controls.