Radical Growth Management

Who should pay for growth? In the crunchy enclave of Bolinas California, newcomers pay a steep entrance fee. Fair or not, it's a good anecdote to share among planners and budget analysts.

An auction for a water meter Friday will determine the price for growth in the antidevelopment town of Bolinas, 20 miles north of San Francisco. The event is the consequence of a water meter moratorium put in place in 1971.

Since then, longtime Bolinas resident Barbara Rothwell tells the New York Times "the only way a water meter came free was when a house burnt down, or fell off a cliff."

$300,000 sounds like an insane amount of money to pay to hook up one house, but many locals think the water meter is undervalued. If it does not bring big money, some residents may take it as a sign that the relentless development pressures of the last decade have receded.

Full Story: The Price for Building a Home in This Town: $300,000 Water Meter


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