Trees Over Houses: A Critique Of Smart Growth

Citing high housing prices in cities with strong growth control policies, one author argues that the smart growth movement seems to place more value on open space than people and their preferred housing choices.
July 21, 2006, 1pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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An opinion article by Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University comments on the proposal to dedicate an additional 1 million arcs in the San Francisco Bay area as open space, arguing that it will serve to increase the areas already high housing prices.

"There are 4.5 million acres of land in the San Francisco Bay area. Less than one-sixth of this land has been developed. So we are not talking about saving the last few patches of greenery from being paved over. More than a million acres are legally off-limits to development, while less than three-quarters of a million acres are developed.

What, then, is the urgency about making another million acres of land legally off-limits to building anything? Because otherwise, more people will move into the area over time. And because they don't want to live outdoors, they will want to have housing. That bothers the conservationists, who prefer trees to houses."

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Published on Thursday, July 20, 2006 in The Baltimore Sun
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