Friday, September 12, 2008

California Sprawl

"California lawmakers passed a bill aimed at cutting carbon-dioxide emissions by requiring cities and counties to prevent urban sprawl and improve public transportation. ... Transportation experts say they expect the bill to become a model for state and national policy makers. ... Compact projects built close to public-transportation options are rewarded with fewer regulatory hurdles. ... The bill is an example of how environmental concerns--and the regulatory burdens they entail are forcing opposing factions to hammer out compromises. ... At first, city governments opposed the bill, fearing it would encroach on their authority to determine land use. Home builders said it would raise the costs of bulding and owning a home. But after tough negotiations and much back-and-forth on the bill's wording, both groups are now among the legislation's supporters", my emphasis, Ana Campoy at the WSJ, 2 September 2008.

The bill will do nothing if it does not override local zoning restrictions. Why do small houses west of the Los Angeles "405" sell for $700,000+? Because of their site values! For the state of California to reduce urban sprawl, it must relax zoning restrictions and let multiple dwellings replace one-family homes. "Home builders ... are now among the legislation's supporters". Wow! If home builders support the bill, how can it serve the "people" of California's interests?

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