Picking Your Friends

The Friends of the San Juans is a non-profit organization that wants to plan your future for you. And with a full time staff of four, and a budget of at least $300,000 the Friends are well equipped to see that their particular vision is the one we'll all be living.

From all the lush pictures on their glossy fliers and web site, you might think that FSJ are something like the Land Bank, but you would be mistaken. Where the Land Bank actually acquires specific pieces of open land to set aside, Friends endeavor to establish ironclad legal control over whole categories of land and land use through regulatory and administrative means.  

There are no easy answers to the question of growth. The following report points out recognizable downsides attached to Friends policy that have so far received little discussion.


Large scale planning for economics and land use has a history of failure, unintended consequences and burgeoning inefficiencies. The idea that we all benefit equally from planning decisions is simply not true. For any given ruling, some will benefit while others will lose. The thing that is assured is that choice will always be reduced.

In the Friends vision, there is no room for the time-honored, community-forming process of mutually agreed upon exchange and contract, nor is there any faith that consenting adults going about their daily business can actually create a functional community.  

This vaunted goal can apparently only be brought about through the benevolent mysteries of centralized planning and expert opinion.

Don't agree?
Then please read on.