Chicago Sun-Times Letter to the Editor
On Smart Growth Article

Preserving 'smart growth'

Published 2001.06.07

Bill Rumbler misses the point in his criticism of our Heritage Foundation paper, ''Housing Costs and Homeownership'' [Homelife column, May 25]. It is true that the leadership of the smart-growth movement generally opposes downzoning and favors higher densities. But what has made smart growth so popular in suburban communities is exactly the opposite: People want to preserve more open space, hold down population growth, and make development less dense. Many of the successful referendums that smart-growth advocates proudly cite do nothing more than force densities lower, serving goals that are opposite those of smart growth, and in the process excluding from the community those who cannot afford the higher design standards.

And if only urban growth boundaries were indeed a ''dead horse.'' They have been made mandatory in Oregon, Washington and Tennessee, and were on statewide referendums in Colorado and Arizona. Smart-growth legislative proposals routinely include urban growth boundaries. Households aspiring to homeownership should be thankful if, as Rumbler suggests, they are not on the agenda in Chicago.

Wendell Cox,
Ronald D. Utt,
Heritage Foundation,
Washington, D.C.

(c) 2001 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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