Study Finds Local Ordinances Create Sprawl

A new study shows that Adequate Public Finance Ordinances (APFOs)in the National Capital Region may counter state's efforts at managing growth effectively.

Adequate Public Finance Ordinances (or APFOs) are tools used by local governments to manage growth and avoid sprawl by regulating new projects that do not meet adequate infrastucture or service requirements. A recent study by the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland shows that such criteria, when too rigid, may also drive away growth from existing urban areas thus causing more sprawl. The study included Montgomery, Howard and Harford County (all in Maryland).

"It concluded that APFOs sometimes have been inappropriately used and are in conflict with the state's "smart growth" land-use policies... As much as 10 percent of new housing contemplated in high-priority growth areas in those counties simply moved elsewhere because of the APFOs. As a result, the available housing stock was reduced and home prices were pushed up."

Full Story: Restrictions Causing Sprawl, Study Says



APFOs create sprawl

At the risk of being branded a heretic, I should note that there are many causes of sprawl, but all are related to the systemic effects of balkanized local governance of metropolitan regions. The U.S. has never been able to deal effectively with the growth of metropolitan regions, and this has allowed local protectionism to undermine broader regional benefits - whether land use, taxation, social justice or the provision of transportation
J. David Stein

Lack of regionalism creates sprawl

You're not a heretic at all, JD. All of what you say is true (hmmm...maybe that's heretical...).



Local planning often creates sprawl, but...

... this was a focussed study with limited results that can be summarrized in three short phrases-
"Inappropriate use, inconsistent standards, unintended consequences".

To learn more, please see the full report at:

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