By The Antiplanner – ti – excerpt
When cities pass zoning rules (as Missoula, Portland, and many Portland suburbs have done) mandating minimum-density zoning — so that people are forced to either build high-density housing in existing low-density neighborhoods or build nothing at all — libertarians lead the charge against such rules. But urban planners have managed to achieve the same result, and gain the support of some who consider themselves libertarian, by:
- Drawing an urban-growth boundary or passing similar policies forbidding development outside the existing urban footprint;
- Waiting a few years for the resulting supply shorting to push up housing prices;
- Blaming high housing prices on residents of single-family neighborhoods who object to densification of their neighborhoods;
- Proposing a law or ordinance that effectively eliminates zoning in those single-family neighborhoods…..
Yet the reality is that every major American city except Houston has single-family zoning, but only a few are unaffordable — and those few all use urban-growth boundaries or otherwise restrict development of rural lands outside the existing urban areas… (more)