Friday, March 31, 2006
“The Swamp” is an entertaining new book about the century-long efforts to drain Florida’s Everglades and turn them into rich farmland and towns, followed by the more recent plan to restore some of the natural water flow and ecosystems. Author Michael Grunwald skillfully moves from colorful tales of the allure of creating rich real estate to the modern struggles among environmentalists, sugar companies, and suburban developers. Some predict that the Everglades Restoration Plan will prove to be the biggest civil engineering project in world history.
In a radio interview on Tampa’s WUSF yesterday, Grunwald made some interesting comments about the Everglades. In addition to the ecological concerns, the restoration plan – which involves limiting new development and even the taking of some houses – is being pushed by “quality of life” issues for those unhappy with “runaway sprawl,” he said. These comments raise a disturbing feature of our land use debates: Some efforts to curb sprawl and protect “green space” are driven in part by a desire of current residents to stop new nearby construction -- thus raising the value of existing homes – and limiting new migrants. Such a NIMBY attitude is especially unfair to immigrants and others who have not had the chance to buy their homes in sunny Florida. The challenge for land use law is to separate true environmental concerns from self-interest hiding behind the mask of the environment.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Stephen R. Miller on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- March 4-6: Stanford 2015 Rural West Conference: Preservation and Transformation: The Future of the Rural West
- March 3 - J.B. Ruhl to deliver Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy at U Louisville Law
- Is this blog post "advertising"? California's bar proposes bright-line rule for regulating attorney blogs
- Two upcoming RMMLF events: 61st Annual Institute (July 16-18 in Anchorage) and 17th Institute for Natural Resources Law Teachers (May 27-29 at Utah Law)
- First Principles for Regulating the Sharing Economy