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West, Texas explosion and zoning

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West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:05 pm

The explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, Texas killed and injured many people, including those who lived in a nearby nursing home. A middle school was also close by. No zoning law prevented that plant from being sited near those places (as well as many residential homes). A much bigger Texas city, Houston, has no zoning regulations.

Yet lack of zoning is a goal of many (if not most) libertarians. I wonder if our resident libertarian forons would like to defend that libertarian ideal.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:29 pm

Free market. People can choose to send their parents to a different nursing home. This is an easy process with no variables outside of consumer preference. The School, well if it was private this could also apply. The schools near chemical plants and nuclear reactors would close down. The real problem here isn't zoning, it's public schools.

How'd I do?
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:30 pm

I was going to post about this earlier so thanks for the link Henry. Here is a map to give some perspective:

Image

What the fuck were they thinking. A middle school, high school, nursing home, and residential neighborhood that close? Those plants are a ticking time bomb and we know it. More so than most other industrial plants out there. I think this is evident from the explosion that was captured.

But hey, free market and all. Just don't buy their products now. That'll show 'em.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby snoqueen » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:04 pm

Looking it up, I find Waco actually has zoning laws and a relatively modern-sounding planning procedure. They do, like most places, grandfather in land usage existing at the time the zoning ordinances were passed (as does Madison). On NPR today I heard their Texas reporter saying nearly everyone who worked at the fertilizer plant said it had been there longer than they could remember, so it's old and likely wouldn't be affected by present-day zoning, unless I have a mistaken impression of the dates involved.

Here's Waco's government web pages, for verification:
http://www.waco-texas.com/planning-zoni ... stment.asp

This doesn't say anything about the location of the schools, which could have been built very recently or long ago before anybody paid attention to industrial hazards. Nor does it say anything about the common sense of building nursing homes right next to anhydrous ammonia plants, regardless of zoning.

Of course, one wonders what people were thinking building or buying houses next to Kipp in Madison when they spewed air pollution and dumped industrial solvents in the parking lot, too. And don't forget the Royster fertilizer plant operated in a residential part of Madison until less than a decade ago.

Don't be too hard on Waco for this one. I'm more inclined to wonder where OSHA was, but we know that's been understaffed for decades.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:20 pm

Do the city of Waco's zoning regs apply to the nearby town of West? And even if the plant was there way before zoning was adopted, why were nursing homes and schools, as well as residential housing, allowed to be built so close to the fertilizer factory (after zoning was established)? Was any of that construction also grandfathered in?
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:37 am

Not to diminish the horror and tragedy of the Boston terror attacks, but the explosion in Texas has a much larger body count.

The bodies of 12 people have been recovered after a Texas fertilizer-plant explosion that demolished surrounding neighborhoods for blocks and left about 200 people injured, authorities said Friday.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:27 am

Unbelievable.

Image
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Meade » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:31 am

Not to diminish the horror and tragedy of the West, Texas explosion and zoning, but Hen V, ever consider that your own sludge might stink? http://www.epa.gov/R5Super/npl/wisconsi ... 34403.html
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby jman111 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:40 am

Meade wrote:In fact, show me a comment of mine that was "off-topic" and I will remove it myself.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:40 pm

West, Texas zoning issues are discussed here: Why did West, Texas, build homes and a school next to a 'time bomb'?

Looks like everyone (or no one) is to blame.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Talon Newsman » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:06 pm

How typical of you leftists, that you want the government to regulate Job Creators like the owner of this facility.

Have you even stopped to consider how many jobs this explosion has created?
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby Average Joe » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:08 pm

Tie federal disaster relief for the Texas explosion to a bill to repeal the sequester.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby snoqueen » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:44 pm

Add in some funding for industrial safety enforcement.
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby gargantua » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:47 pm

Talon Newsman wrote:Have you even stopped to consider how many jobs this explosion has created?


Now you've done it. I can only imagine what Scott Walker would do with an idea like that!
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Re: West, Texas explosion and zoning

Postby narcoleptish » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:56 pm

snoqueen wrote:Don't be too hard on Waco for this one. I'm more inclined to wonder where OSHA was, but we know that's been understaffed for decades.


Looks like they were last there right around the time I graduated from high school, 1985.

http://www.newswest9.com/story/22018896 ... nt-in-1985

Records reviewed by The Associated Press show that OSHA issued the West Chemical & Fertilizer Co., as the plant was called at the time, a $30 fine for a serious violation for storage of anhydrous ammonia.


I remember the landscape/nursery business on Fair oaks used to be a propane facility complete with several huge storage tanks. Late 70's or early 80's there was an incident there where they evacuated a good chunk of the neighborhood. Nothing blew up.
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