Transitioning From Sprawl To Compactness

Regional planning in CA's sprawling Central Valley has turned to the huge challenge of increasing density. Fortunately, SB 375 will facilitate planners' efforts to double Fresno County density to 8 units per acre. Yet institutional obstacles remain.

It's difficult to not refer to California's huge San Joaquin Valley without using the term, 'sprawling', as the region has long been known for the conversion of some of the nation's richest, most productive agricultural land to vast, single-family-home subdivisions during the last real estate boom.

"To achieve higher housing densities (under the Valley Blueprint Planning Process), preference for detached homes will have to change, planners say.

And for that to happen, everything from consumer preferences to the mortgage financing system will need to adjust.

Senate Bill 375, enacted in late 2008, requires local agencies to provide for greenhouse-gas reductions in long-term housing and transportation plans, and promises more state funding in those areas for those who comply. That gives Blueprint advocates a powerful carrot to use in getting their ideas implemented."

Thanks to Catherine Cecchi

Full Story: Effort to limit Valley sprawl hits crucial stage Fresno Bee

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