Urban Fold

Planners Driving Californians Out Of State

In this opinion piece, transportation consultant Wendell Cox explains why residents are fleeing CA in droves. By not providing single family homes Cox feels most want, residents must find their quarter-acre lots elsewhere. He blames regional plans.

"California's high cost of living also is driving people away. Since 2000 more than 1.6 million people have fled, and my own research as well as that of others points to high housing prices as the principal factor."

Cox omits the actual growth data for the decade. The census showed a growth of 10%, or 3.8 million; 80% attributed to births. More residents did leave the state than moved here from other states.

"The Southern California Association of Governments wants to require more than one-half of the new housing in Los Angeles County and five other Southern California counties to be concentrated in dense, so-called transit villages, with much of it at an even higher 30 or more units per acre. (See Planetizen: Monumental Regional Plan for Southern California Gets Final Approval).

To understand how dramatic a change this would be, consider that if the planners have their way, 68% of new housing in Southern California by 2035 would be condos and apartment complexes. This contrasts with Census Bureau data showing that single-family, detached homes represented more than 80% of the increase in the region's housing stock between 2000 and 2010."

Cox also omits the July 2011 census findings that show "the annual rate of growth in American cities and surrounding urban areas has now surpassed that of exurbs for the first time in at least 20 years".

Thanks to Lowell Grattan

Full Story: California Declares War on Suburbia



Irvin Dawid's picture

WSJ readers respond to Wendell Cox's "War on Suburbia"

Three letters published in weekend Journal under headline, "Demographics Limit Suburbs More Than Planning Does"
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA
P.S.: Mine is the second one. The third is by nearby Stanford University Urban Studies undergraduate, Dan Jacobson. He notes: "....a new report by Arthur Nelson, economist at the University of Utah, suggests that California's current supply of conventional single-family suburban homes has already exceeded the demand for the next 25 years."

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