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."