Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Victorville Plans 32 Square Mile Expansion

In what would be one of the most significant municipal expansions in the West Mojave Desert in recent years, the City of Victorville will vote tonight (05 January) to expand its sphere of influence by up to 32 square miles.


The City's vote may be hurried by a similar plan by the City of Helendale to also expand its sphere of influence, conflicting with Victorville's proposal.  Victorville officials have already expressed their desire to bring resident development to the land, although San Bernardino County has expressed reservations with the extent of Victorville's proposed expansion, fearing that mineral and natural resources would be abandoned in favor of more residential growth.

Victorville's proposed sprawl is unfortunate given that the city can barely keep up with it's current growth, with rising crime and poor transportation infrastructure.  An expansion of the city's sphere of influence would only promote more unabated growth--abandoning the High Desert's original qualities in favor of near-term revenue gain.

The potential for more expansive growth (rather than smarter city growth with current municipal boundaries) also raises questions for the health of the West Mojave Desert, which is already fragmented by population centers and highways.  The West Mojave Desert is unique for some of its higher elevations, with more Joshua Tree growth and Juniper flats adjacent to the mountains. 

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