Red-Hot Housing Market Shouldn't Change Planning Principles

These days, a house in California costs a lot of money. Inevitably, the planning system gets blamed for the mess.
May 18, 2004, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Are high home prices really due to planners and their crazy processes? The answer is yes and no -- or, perhaps more accurately, no and yes, writes William Fulton: "The recent run-up in prices has occurred not only in the context of California’s typically kooky and complicated planning system, but also in the context of a very peculiar housing market... Planning well usually means resisting short-term economic forces in the service of long-term benefit to the community -- focusing on workforce and low-income housing, for example, instead of permitting developers to build only high-end houses. Equally important to planning well is keeping the plans you make. That means allowing developers to build the housing you want when – as now – the market motivates them to do so. One clear cost that planning imposes on developers is the cost of processing time, a cost that can be fatal if it means that developers miss the hot real estate market and must wait years until the opportunity to build arises again."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, May 16, 2004 in California Planning and Development Report
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