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Folly in 50 States and the World / Folly in Colorado


Subject:  Re: Politics Date:  10/26/2000  8:25 PM
Author:  LorenCobb Number:  932 of 6292

I know next to nothing about Amendment 24, but Paul's comment about Boulder's legislation against urban sprawl raises some questions in my mind.

Let's assume that anti-sprawl legislation preserves farmland around a city but raises property values inside the city. Newcomers find it expensive to move in. The city grows vertically, not horizontally.

Suppose further that the lack of anti-sprawl legislation results in Los Angeles-style sprawl, eliminates farms and open space, and degrades everybody's environment. Property values remain relatively low and affordable for newcomers, who pour in until all open space is gone. Then the city begins to grow vertically. Property values increase, but they never catch up.

Doesn't this imply that in the end we have a choice between two kinds of vertical cities: one with green space, the other without? Property values and quality of life will be higher if the first choice is taken.

There are real life examples of these two kinds of cities: compare Den Haag (The Hague) in the Netherlands to Houston, Texas, for example. Both are populous cities near a seacoast, but there the resemblance stops.

This suggests to me that property values are kept artificially low by the absence of anti-sprawl statutes, and that property owners in these cities are being taken to the cleaners while the environment degrades around them.

Just a thought.
(living in Carbondale, not Boulder)
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