"Anti-Sprawl Fervor Meets Backlash"

USA Today (08/26/02) P. 3A; El Nasser, Haya

Growth controls, such as building freezes and increased preservation of open space, are being attacked in some parts of the country for pricing potential homeowners right out of the market. Housing prices have skyrocketed in such regions as the West, Northeast, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic.

At the same, construction of more affordable apartments, condominiums, and townhouses has slowed in those same markets.

In Virginia, for example, Loudoun County supervisors face eight different lawsuits that challenge their efforts to halt sprawl.

Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz, Calif., a grand jury recently urged the district attorney or local citizens to sue county supervisors for doing little to stop the median home price from reaching $420,000 and failing to boost the supply of affordable housing.

Building moratoriums are especially popular in Massachusetts, but only 27 of the state's 350-plus towns and cities meet a minimum level for affordable housing. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino states, "There is increased resistance in suburbia to housing, especially affordable housing. They don't want to do it, and it all falls back on cities." (www.usatoday.com)


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