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A prairie fairy tale

| December 5, 2010 8:00 PM

Once upon a time just a few years ago, some villagers raised voices if not pitchforks against the spread of homes on the Rathdrum Prairie.

"Evil sprawl!" they roared from their nice houses.

"Greedy developers!" they yelled from their plush offices or lofty retirement perches.

And then a very unfunny thing happened.

Construction died. It dried up like a garden without water.

And with its demise went many good jobs, and with those good jobs went much discretionary spending, and with that fall in discretionary spending went more jobs. In the downward spiral, many existing homes became available; they became available because families who had lost their jobs ultimately lost the roofs over their heads, too. But at least it stopped the evil sprawl. At least those greedy developers weren't so greedy anymore.

And the villagers, with their nice homes and secure jobs or generous pensions, were pleased. For when others had less, at least it seemed these villagers had more.

And then something very unfunny happened again. But this time it was good.

Respected citizens stepped forward with a plan to build again upon the prairie, on the north side of the hamlet of Post Falls. There these citizens envisioned hundreds of homes that working people could afford, parks where families could play, and a place where construction workers could labor happily for seven years.

Much must be done for this vision, its words and its pictures, to become shovels in dirt, walls on prairie, roofs over heads. A public gathering of minds and mouths on Dec. 21 will begin to vet the vision, to find out how it might all come together, how it might or might not blend.

When they do gather, these hamlet leaders and the prairie planners and yes, even the villagers who oppose evil sprawl and decry greedy developers, we hope they all remember that once upon a time just a few years ago, life was good. At least, it was better than it is today.

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