Letter: Let gated community residents decide for themselves
Morgan H Orlins
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
On Tuesday night, June 3th, there was a St. Johns County community meeting to discuss proposed changes to Land Development Code amendments and the Comprehensive Plan.
At the meeting, County Commissioner Cindy Stevenson was “concerned” that gated communities practically eliminate vehicle interconnectivity, and tend to also discourage bicycle and pedestrian interconnectivity? Of course they do.
The entire point of a gated community is to limit access to residents who pay to live there, and to their invited guests. Would Ms. Stevenson have us greet non-residents at the gate with a beach towel and sun block so they could use our community pool and exercise room?
People live in gated communities because they provide a small measure of security, while others choose more open neighborhoods. Thank God we still have a choice in the matter.
During the meeting Commissioner Stevenson was repeatedly challenged on the subject by Kim Kendall, a candidate for the County Commission District 2 seat. Paraphrasing Kendall’s observation, “Residents of gated communities choose to live there. They are the ones who pay for their own internal roads. Shouldn’t the residents be allowed to make up their own minds about the use of those roads and whether or not they want to live there?”
Bravo, Kim Kendall. It’s called Liberty and the right of individuals to associate with whom they choose, and it’s protected by the Bill of Rights. We’re all free to choose our own living arrangements. It’s a concept that goes to the very core of what it means to be an American. Individual liberty sometimes comes with “inconveniences” (sorry about that Ms. Stevenson), as do all individual rights.
Those of you who would vote to obliterate gated communities by granting public access, allow me to appeal to you in your language… Gated communities; “they’re for the children.”