Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rethinking Land Use Policies

OUT: New Single-family homes.
IN: More two-family zones and garage apartments.
Our Land-Use braintrust is thinking out of the box.

From todays NY Times:

It also said that states and towns should move away from their traditional use of property tax revenues to finance public education — a practice that has encouraged many towns to exclude certain types of lower-cost housing, like apartments, and certain groups, like lower-income families, thought to consume more in school costs than they pay in taxes.

“We don’t have the land for development, we don’t have the highway capacity for suburban development, and issues of congestion and the loss of open space are becoming more important to people in suburban communities,” said Christopher Jones, vice president for research at the Regional Plan Association. “We really do need a different approach if we’re going to provide the housing for what’s estimated to be three to four million people over the next 25 years.”

1 comment:

  1. susan1:04 PM

    I heard a piece recently on npr (I think) where in seattle (maybe?) there are non profits who buy the land under the house and sell the house to someone who then (I don't remember.. has a lease on the property). But this way the house was considerably more affordable for lower income families to buy.

    The town of Fairhope Alabama, at least used to, own all of the land in town, and houseowners had a 99 year lease on the land under their houses. The Fairhope plan was part of a life philosophy..the NPR piece was a plan to improve home ownership for lower income families.