Environmentalists Torn Over Smart Growth

A Berkeley, CA growth initiative revealed the stresses that smart growth play on grassroots environmental organizations like the Sierra Club where members determine positions.
November 10, 2010, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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Berkeley's downtown growth initiative, Measure R, "bankrolled by developers and backed by the Sierra Club" won big at the polls on Nov 2, receiving 64 per cent of the vote. It approved "a blueprint for reshaping downtown that includes five new high-rises."

"(Smart growth) is controversial in the club," said Kent Lewandowski, chairman of the organization's Northern Alameda County group. "We've got longtime club members who see efforts to promote density as colluding with developers. Others are against living in an urban environment."

"Mr. Lewandowski said that one member, who is upset about the organization's support of smart-growth development, threatened to remove the club from her will."

Thanks to David Tam

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Published on Thursday, November 4, 2010 in The New York Times/Bay Citizen
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