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?