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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Monday, March 30, 2009

Prince George's County to decide the fate of PG79-63 - a Potential Historic District

Prince George’s County will soon decide whether to permanently destroy a possible historic district. The inclusion of a shopping mall in the district will adversely and permanently alter the character of the northern part of the proposed Woodland district of eastern Upper Marlboro. As some people are at this time considering designating Upper Marlboro itself as an historic district, commercial development is looking to put an end to one already in place. But, the residents of Old Crain Highway decided not to apply for historic status because it would hamper individual efforts to ultimately negate the history of place. The desire of some residents is based upon a personal market strategy which is to sell the land at maximum return and eventually leave the county while those who stay will have to deal with the changes in traffic, crime, and pollution. Designation of an area as a historic district will not directly affect property values, unlike inclusion of a strip mall in a rural historic setting. Because Local Historic District properties are protected from insensitive development, owners may be more inclined to make improvements to their properties, and this may increase the value of all property in a given district. [1]

This is the issue here in Crain Corner; some will make money at the expense of the rest, rather than all raising the aggregate value together through common purpose. National and statewide economic studies show that historic district designation first stabilizes property values, and then slowly values begin to rise. In most cases properties in local historic districts appreciate at rates greater than: (a) the local market as a whole, and (b) similar neighborhoods that are not designated. This is akin to the principal behind subdivision covenants, which are put in place by a homeowners association to ensure quality improvements and to enhance property owners’ investments (though private covenants are often more restrictive than public ordinances). A historic district that is aesthetically cohesive and well promoted can be a community's most important attraction. The retention of historic areas as a way to attract tourist dollars makes good economic sense. The protection of local historic districts can also enhance business recruitment potential. Companies continually re-locate to communities that offer their workers a higher quality of life, which is greatly enhanced by successful local preservation programs and stable historic districts.

[1] Frequently Asked Questions about Local Historic Districts

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