–What will become of Morgan neighborhoods, many of which are little more than rows of poor-man’s drywall castles? Will they, like tail fins, be viewed as vestiges of a super-sized America? Or will they, as was the case through much of this decade, be sought out for the sheer room for the buck? A related question: Will Morgan houses ever attract urban pioneers of the distant future? Why?
I believe that the answer of this question could be the subject of a documentary film in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, what can we learn from the possible demise of tract housing? Quite a bit.
The massive size of the housing developments proposed by the builder also ran into resistance at times from counties in the metro area unaccustomed to urban sprawl. Shelby County rejected a 300-acre proposal for a C.P. Morgan tract several years ago out of concern local government wasn’t in position to handle the costs of expanding fire, water, waste and educational services, said former commissioner Roger Laird.
“It was going to be a high-density project, and we didn’t have a good plan from them or anyone else on how to handle the sewage, water and everything else,” Laird said. He noted that the site on I-74 at Pleasant View now is being considered as a possible location for a supplier to the Honda car plant in Greensburg.
Shelby commissioners who rejected the housing proposal received plenty of backing from local residents who objected to the big complex coming in.
“A bunch of us, people who have been here forever, wanted it stopped. We got together and convinced the commissioners to vote against it,” said a member of the informal group, Dick Larkey of Larkey Insurance and Real Estate in Fairland.
I hope that we do not forget this moment, and that we can begin to develop more sustainably.