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krazeeboi

Is SC getting the squeeze?

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There was a topic that was recently closed on the USA South forum about surrounding metros in NC and GA giving SC the "squeeze." Do you guys think that SC is becoming the "next NJ" in this regard? Personally I don't think that's the case even in the slightest. There are 3 border metros, Charlotte, Augusta, and Savannah. The upper portion of the SC piedmont is definitely getting more and more spillover from Charlotte, but the only areas would be the upper western portion of York County along the I-77 corridor and the panhandle of Lancaster County; the remaining portions of the counties are quite rural in nature. Augusta is growing, but the growth is hardly explosive in nature; Aiken County yet retains its own identity and slower pace, even becoming a hot spot for retirees. As a matter of fact, I would argue that Aiken's appeal has very little to do with Augusta. The Savannah metro area is growing, but it is adjacent to the fast-growing Beaufort-Hilton Head area; again, Beaufort and Hilton Head are destinations in and of themselves, having very little to do with Savannah per se. If anything, that area would truly become a bi-nodal metropolitan area, with both regions have equal pull and influence over the lower SC/upper GA Lowcountry region. Also, I believe it is only a matter of time until a NC county is pulled into the Upstate CSA or the Greenville or Spartanburg MSA. With the way Myrtle Beach is growing, an NC county could potentially be pulled into its MSA as well.

Thoughts?

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We would be lucky to be like New Jersey, which is usually the 1st or 2nd wealthiest state, per capita, in the country. We're usually the 1st or 2nd poorest.

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But we'll do without all of the oil refineries polluting the landscape. :P

Just a joke.

But I meant becoming the "next New Jersey" in terms of the northern half of the state being overwhelmingly influenced by NYC, and the southern half by Philadelphia--the majority of the state being "squeezed in" by neighboring metro areas.

It would be nice to have a school like Princeton within our borders as well. ;)

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But we'll do without all of the oil refineries polluting the landscape. :P

Just a joke.

But I meant becoming the "next New Jersey" in terms of the northern half of the state being overwhelmingly influenced by NYC, and the southern half by Philadelphia--the majority of the state being "squeezed in" by neighboring metro areas.

It would be nice to have a school like Princeton within our borders as well. ;)

Yes it would; and casinos like Atlantic City and a low poverty level.

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Im seesawing erasing and typing on my response. Is it impossible of happening, no. Will it ever happen, no! I do believe the coastline will be really built up as the years go by but the vast central part of the state will remain rural for quite sometime.

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There's plenty of country and interstate between SC's MSAs and MSAs from other states. Each one stands on its own. Quality of life, not size, is what is important in establishing the identity of a city or MSA.

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Aiken, the city, stands on its own. A lot of its wealth is derived--or at least used to be derived--from SRS, whose top brass always seemed to live in the gated neighborhoods in Aiken or Columbia County. Of course there is old money there too. A lot of people from Augusta choose to live in Aiken and commute into Augusta to work. To be honest, there is a lot of travel between the two cities---it is not uncommon for people in Augusta to go to Aiken to eat dinner in the alley or go to a show (or play golf) and vice versa. In fact, I just got back from Aiken. But if Augusta disappeared tommorrow, Aiken would still be a viable city; maybe not as large, but still very much as viable.

It's really the same story with Hilton Head Island-I don't know that Savannah plays any role in that area's development. In fact, I would argue that having Hilton Head close by has helped Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport land different carriers thereby lowering prices.

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To get the NJ effect you need another metro growing at the rate Charlotte is on the other end. Also the type of developments going on have to be pure commuter oriented. The Charlotte metro is adding an average of 15 to 20 thousand people a year. It is only a matter of time before that spill over accelerates. For good or bad it is coming. I can see York and Lancaster becoming more commuter based but that is only up to the core county. Will Meck let companies to relocate without a fight. That is the X factor in all of this.

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Will Meck let companies to relocate without a fight. That is the X factor in all of this.

What exactly does this mean? How does a county get into a fight with a company?

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Well, thankfully there is no other metro growing like Charlotte anywhere else close to SC. Even then, with the "NJ effect," NYC and Philly basically started out as boomtowns; NJ's cities didn't really have a chance to form their own identities apart from proximity to those two cities. That's hardly the case in SC, as our major cities are already well established. Even as fast as the Charlotte metro is growing, the majority of the growth is actually occurring in Mecklenburg. And even with the growth that's occurring in York and Lancaster, we are still a LONG ways off from being unable to distinguish between where Rock Hill ends and Fort Mill begins and where Fort Mill ends and Charlotte begins. The gaps are filling in slowly for sure, but there's no way I ever see our largest city (Columbia) becoming a suburb of Charlotte, as NJ's largest city (Newark) is to NYC. By the time the sprawl of both metro areas meet (which I hope to never see), Columbia will be a significant city in its own right. It would be more of a Washington-Baltimore or Chicago-Milwaukee situation instead of a NYC-Newark situation.

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To get the NJ effect you need another metro growing at the rate Charlotte is on the other end.

I remember posting that South Carolina would be the New New Jersey, lol. Maybe one of Atlanta's ex-ex-exurbs sprawl will jump the Chattooga in the future. Then you'd have a complete mess of manicured subdivisions from Charlotte-Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson-Atlanta along 85.

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But that wouldn't be a case of Atlanta's sprawl consuming the Upstate; it would be a case of Atlanta's sprawl meeting the Upstate's sprawl. And I hope I never see the day that happens.

At any rate, I think such claims of SC becoming the "next NJ" are totally unfounded.

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What exactly does this mean? How does a county get into a fight with a company?

Meaning trying to match incentive packages to keep the company in its present location.

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But that wouldn't be a case of Atlanta's sprawl consuming the Upstate; it would be a case of Atlanta's sprawl meeting the Upstate's sprawl. And I hope I never see the day that happens.

At any rate, I think such claims of SC becoming the "next NJ" are totally unfounded.

I agree, Krazee.

Polk County, NC, is tied in with Spartanburg in many ways, and I wouldn't be suprised to see them added to our MSA in the next 20 years.

York and Lancaster (and maybe Chester) are at risk of becoming Charlotte, but I think that is all. I think the squeeze is nothing more than an interesting discussion topic myself.

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I think most of western York and Lancaster County from the panhandle down to Lancaster will see more urbanization (loosely speaking) in the coming years. Being that Chester County is practically 100% rural now, I would suspect that by the time Charlotte's sprawl creeps down that way, some of Columbia's would have infiltrated the southern end of the county. Scary. *shudders*

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Oh yeah...Columbia's and Charlotte MSA's meet county wise...By the end of the century I know there sprawl would have to meet....wow

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Actually, Columbia's MSA touches Charlotte's CSA (Chester is in the CSA, not MSA). We say that like it really means something, but in reality it doesn't. Fairfield and Chester are both as rural as they come.

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Yes and no - ideally it would be gaining Jersey-like benefits, without those refineries.

SC's metros are healthy and growing so I don't think you're getting the squeeze, and Atlanta is a bit off into Georgia anyway. I do think the Anderson-to-Raleigh stretch of 85 might be evolving into a new Southern megalopolis (I've had the conversation with some geographers - academics - who have their eye on the area), but we aren't there yet, and I don't think that would necessarily be a good development - I'd love to have the culture, boosted economic profile and the regional name recognition for the key cities from the Upstate to the Triangle, but not the traffic, sprawl, smog or other downsides.

Now would be the time (and some folks are thinking along these lines) to seriously contemplate improving infrastructure beyond roads between and around the individual MSAs - high speed rail is a ways off, but the planning for it should be influencing development patterns now. As much as the biggest metro groupings (Upstate, Greater Charlotte, Triad, Triangle, and perhaps Asheville and the Unifour at the northern periphery) compete, each are economically interconnected and interdependent in many ways as well; our infrastructural planning needs to recognize and keep pace with that.

A worst-case scenario - about a year or so ago, I remember having a conversation with a geographer from Boston who in all seriousness said that he could easily forsee - 25-50 years hence - a Southeastern megalopolis with Atlanta (or Birmingham) as it's southwestern terminus, and Norfolk (or Richmond) as it's northeastern. This of course would lay a swath of sprawl right across N GA, NW SC and right down the center of NC. There are many arguments that would contradict this theory - but it's still a little horrifying. I the growth is here, and more will be coming, now is the time to make sure that it's planned, or our states will uglify very seriously.

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Unfortunately, in SC, I think we may be so desparate for the positives you laid out that the negatives will barely even be considered--which means that by the time we realize we have a serious problem on our hands, there won't be much that can be done.

Regionalism is the wave of the future, and unfortunately Southern cities in general tend to fumble with this issue. City and county (and heck, even state) lines are becoming more and more irrelevant. Planning and enforcement must be region-wide; if not, we will only have a mere reshuffling of the issues throughout an area.

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Unfortunately, in SC, I think we may be so desparate for the positives you laid out that the negatives will barely even be considered--which means that by the time we realize we have a serious problem on our hands, there won't be much that can be done.

Regionalism is the wave of the future, and unfortunately Southern cities in general tend to fumble with this issue. City and county (and heck, even state) lines are becoming more and more irrelevant. Planning and enforcement must be region-wide; if not, we will only have a mere reshuffling of the issues throughout an area.

I think you are right, but I think more of us are thinking and saying that regional thinking and discussion will have to occur, and I think that will slowly gain some momentum as time marches on. Demands for well-educated workforces, for flexible transportation, for livable developments, and for green spaces larger than a postage stamp will only become more strenuous in the future, and each of those needs will (in many cases) be beyond the ability of one single city or town to manage. I wonder how we can accelerate a shift towards regional thinking and planning?

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I don't know. The places that have pulled it off successfully, such as Portland, are so idealogically different than the average Southern city/metro. Usually here it's only talk, but not much action.

For one, I think smaller cities in some metro areas may have difficulty accepting the reality of their role in the metro area, so to participate in a regional plan would be like accepting defeat in a certain way.

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I don't know. The places that have pulled it off successfully, such as Portland, are so idealogically different than the average Southern city/metro. Usually here it's only talk, but not much action.

For one, I think smaller cities in some metro areas may have difficulty accepting the reality of their role in the metro area, so to participate in a regional plan would be like accepting defeat in a certain way.

You make an excellent point, krazee. It is interesting how some suburbs of a city identify with that city more than others. In every metro, you can pretty much find a few suburbs (or exurbs, depending on the metro) that seem oblivious to the fact that they ARE part of a metro area. Even if their small town used to be "out in the country," and even if a lot of those people don't want to live "in the city," they need to realize the reality of the situation.

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A lot of people in this area have yet to come to accept the responsibility that comes from unsustainable lifestyle choices. Too many people here still believe the property owner has the right to develop their property in whatever manner they think will put the most money in their pocket, regardless of the effects on the larger community and metro. Until this type of thinking changes, the kind of zoning and control over development that is taking place in Portland, will remain just a dream in SC, or most of the South for that matter.

I don't know what has to take place to make it change. Certainly $3.00 gasoline is affecting it some and all signs are that these prices will continue to rise. It would be worth a study to find out what led to Portland's very progressive plans for development to see if something could be implemented in SC.

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A lot of people in this area have yet to come to accept the responsibility that comes from unsustainable lifestyle choices. Too many people here still believe the property owner has the right to develop their property in whatever manner they think will put the most money in their pocket, regardless of the effects on the larger community and metro. Until this type of thinking changes, the kind of zoning and control over development that is taking place in Portland, will remain just a dream in SC, or most of the South for that matter.

I don't know what has to take place to make it change. Certainly $3.00 gasoline is affecting it some and all signs are that these prices will continue to rise. It would be worth a study to find out what led to Portland's very progressive plans for development to see if something could be implemented in SC.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to political support. There is none for it, except in places were development is straining infrastructure (i.e., the cities). As development continues and the consequences of unchecked growth escalates, that anti-planning sentiment will change. I think the big thing is to make sure that, whenever crap happens (water runoff issues, traffic concerns, crowded schools, etc), the point is being driven home that a more proactive planning process could have mitigated the negatives associated with new development, if not eliminated them completely.

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