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Smart Growth or A Loss of Open Space?

Governor Romney is considering cutting off spending to protect open space in Massachusetts.
September 6, 2003, 1pm PDT | Connie Chung
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Governor Romney is suggesting that "the state should drastically reduce the money spent to acquire open space in Massachusetts, possibly down to zero.The proposal to cut capital spending for land acquisition...comes a year after the state spent an unprecedented $73 million to protect meadows and woods from development....There is some philosophical basis for spending less money on land conservation. Both Burrington and Douglas Foy, who Romney appointed as chief of Commonwealth Development, come from the Conservation Law Foundation, which has historically advocated fighting sprawl by making it easier to build in cities. Advocates call this approach 'smart growth,'and they argue against buying and protecting big swaths of land without pushing development in other areas. Doing that has negative consequences, such as increases in housing prices, these advocates say. But environmentalists...say the move to reduce capital spending for open space acquisition seems to be driven by fiscal pressures alone. State researchers have determined that 1 million of the 3 million undeveloped acres in Massachusetts should be protected. The state has conserved about 500,000 acres thus far."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, September 5, 2003 in The Boston Globe
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