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Are We Engaged in an Uncessesary War on Suburban Planning?

Check out this opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal and tell us how Novato should react.

Much of Novato will be able to relate to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about urban planning and forced housing quotas.

The editorial was written by Wendell Cox, a transportation consultant who served on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. His mantra: It's better to raise kids with backyards than on condo balconies.

Here's one line to share: "A less affordable California, with less attractive housing, could disadvantage the state as much as its already destructive policies toward business."

He cites a report that concluded that substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions could be achieved while "traveling the same mileage" and without denser urban housing.

Cox also points to reports that say California's housing had been nearly as affordable as the rest of the nation "until the more restrictive regulations, such as development moratoria, urban growth boundaries, and overly expensive impact fees came into effect starting in the 1970s." Other economic studies, such as by Stephen Malpezzi at the University of Wisconsin, also have documented the strong relationship between more intense land-use regulations and exorbitant house prices.

Except for a select few, Novato citizens and elected officials have thrown up a "hold your horses!" cry in unison against housing quotas, pointing to the large proportion of low-income housing that's been constructed here over the years compared with other Marin municipalities. 

Cox's story ran in April, but there seems to be an increased amount of chatter in Novato about government mandates from regional and state entities. What's your viewpoint?

Steven Norwin August 15, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Eco Tyranny, by Brian Sussman. It's a real eye opener and very easy to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Al Dugan August 15, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Increasing vehicle gas mileage efficiency as well as electric vehicles is scientifically by far the best way to reduce greenhouse gases. SB 375 that requires standard bulit density near main transportation corridors is unhealthy and and has no impact on greenhouse gases as advertised.
Nanette Brichetto August 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Like many of CA policies and the people who promote them, those people want to keep the rest of us in condensed areas, away from their private, single homes on vast tracts of acreage. Like the Coastal Commission and the Sierra Club leaders, those folks already have their mansions, with great views overlooking the ocean, or wilderness areas. They've also cleared plenty of trees to open those views and they drive their cars as much as they want to while believing the rest of us should be limited to condensed housing and mass transportation. As far as vehicle emissions, I do not want to limit freedom or be charged per mile I drive, however I do believe people could make a better effort to plan and combine errands to one, or two trips a day. Because I like to breath clean air, I am also a supporter of not burning or heating with wood fires in urban areas. In other words, with some simple conservation, common sense and common courtesies, we could achieve some clean air goals without living like sardines or permitting the state to track our travels.
Ralph Canine October 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM
ABAG's mandatory urbanization scheme isn't about clean air or saving the planet, it's about power and control. Once high density low income housing projects are sprinkled around the suburbs, and people moved around like pawns on the chessboard, the next steps are laws allowing cities to annex suburbs, so local government disappears, plus school district consolidation. Google "tax base sharing" to learn more. The purpose is to extinguish local government so people can be ruled directly by unelected bureaucrats. The housing projects we're fighting now are just the thin edge of the wedge. Read Stanley Kurtz, "Spreading the Wealth" for a complete explanation of the ABAG hidden agenda.
Elin October 05, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Spreading the Wealth-Interview with Stanley Kurtz Exposes One Bay Area Plan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIh1nv3mEdA

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