Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Here’s a kind of story that I probably could write about every day. A town rejects a plan for compact, lower-cost housing because it fails to meet the density “character” requirements of the community, with the loss of apparently socially friendly housing. In this case, the town is Harding Township, N.J., where, according to the New York Times, the government has rejected a plan to build 32 small, “eco-friendly” houses because they don’t meet the town’s five-acre minimum lot size requirement. Will this rejection preserve the “rural” character of the township? Perhaps. Will it push development pressures elsewhere and further out, causing greater environmental harms, and further exacerbating the low-cost housing crunch in the state as a whole? Probably. And this is in New Jersey, a state that has often been at the vanguard of encouraging land use law to consider more than just the parochial desires of the locality, and to consider greater social needs. Sigh …
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