Smart Growth activities are flourishing in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only has much of the layout and development of the physical and material structure of our once country-style living community begun to change according to cosmic plans, but also the social structure of the community has fallen into the hands of the local visionaries as Author Thomas Sowell describes the social planners. Residents of Walnut Creek and the County will “age graciously” and or “age in place” with the help of the non-profits, faith based groups, foundations and government health care planners according to a two year long planninng process called: Contra Costa for Every Generation.” Though it is called diversity and mixed economic and ethnic residences there is a separation of residents into distinct groups both age and status-wise.
Recently a Contra Costa Times newspaper ad popped up on my computer advertising a midtown seniors residence facility called Heritage Pointe. (I have no idea to what the word “heritage” implies.) This relatively new, large, gated apartment complex, located in a small area midtown designated as the “Golden Triange” backs up against the busy, noisy north/south 680 freeway and wraps itself around long standing, moderate to low income residences, displacing quite a few of these former single family homes.
The advertising glowingly portrays the residents as living a self indulgent, pampered totally cared for life style acquired by those reaching the age of 55 years. It depicts an entire world of activities from spas to card games to “exquisite” dining with chauffeured excursions to the outside world should you become foolish enough to want to leave the secure environs.
The ad for Heritage Pointe assures the potential renter that all his/her cares and concerns will be attended to. They will help you sell your residence, and provide you with estate planners. You are young enough to be active, but at an age when the cares and concerns (and strangehold on privately owned residential property) no longer appeal to you and you just want to have a life of fun letting everyone else prepare your meals, clean your living quarters, plan your social events, see to your eating of healthy meals and provide you with other fun lovng residents.
It all reminds me of the shelf life of grocery and perishable products. In the future will babies be born with a “pull date” stamped on their forehead? When the pull date is reached will some government bureaucrat show up, knock on your door, and say “Okay, it’s time to come out of the active, fully involved life and be placed on a shelf waiting to die?”
Walnut Creek has been captured by the bureaucratic visionaries so eloquently depicted in three of Thomas Sowell’s books: A Conflict of Visions, The Quest for Cosmic Justice and The Vision of the Anoointed.