From the Blueberry website (from Gov. Perry's joke about Austin's being the blueberry in the tomato soup of Texas), a tale that punches my buttons from both sides. On the one hand, the 1890's home in Old West Austin is just the kind of building I love, and few things would make me happier than to have a few million dollars at my disposal to give it a loving restoration. On the other hand, it doesn't belong to me, and neither I nor its owners have that kind of cash available for the necessary work. What the owners have instead is a lot of neighbors who wish someone else would undertake the project so they could enjoy the fruits of it gratis.
I run into the same attitude here on my underdeveloped little semi-rural peninsula: none of us enjoys seeing undeveloped land turned into new housing. When someone else owns the undeveloped land, we experience it as a neighboring parkland, without the inconvenience of paying taxes on it or forgoing the income from selling it to a developer. Such a crime to destroy the parkland! And yet all of us live in houses that were built on previously undeveloped land. Most of my neighbors prefer to clear nearly all of their previously undeveloped land, even the parts that their houses don't sit directly. Somehow, in spite of this, they are up in arms when someone else nearby does the same. Yet it never occurs to them to pool their resources and buy the undeveloped land so they can lovingly preserve it as habitat. That's always for some other rich guy to do: the besetting policy sin of our age.
Do I wish more people were passionate about undeveloped habitat and 19th-century buildings? I sure do. I wish they cared enough about it to make it a financial priority in their own households, instead of only important enough to try to bully other people about.