Most Californians don't back 'smart growth'
and they include the ONLY
part of the population that is growing - minorities and immigrants
A recent Poll
Californians have not bought into
the "smart" growthideas being promoted by
aspire to live in the suburbs even tho they don't like traffic and smog.
31% said they would choose a high-density neighborhood convenient to
The future for California is supposed to be strong population
growth -- 6 million people per decade
There may be considerable sentiment among Californians for slowing growth
itself, but that would require tight restrictions on immigration from
immigration and babies born to immigrant mothers account for virtually all
of the state's growth.
the continuing furor over Proposition 187, (the 1994 ballot measure to
limit public services, schooling & healthcare, to undocumented
immigrants), indicates that immigration restrictions are out, politically.
whether recent immigrants or the offspring of immigrants, play such a
large role in the state's population growth and
will occupy an increasingly strong political position, they were wisely
tested separately as to whether THEIR attitudes are different from other
Californians. And the result was they have no major differences on the
core issues:- modes of housing and traveling. in other words, Latinos' aspirations are very similar to those of non-Latino
How best to handle the
millions of new Californians?Perhaps 15 million more over the next quarter-century atop the 35 million
we have now.
Growth? Urban planners, academic theorists, environmental
activists consistently argue that California should adopt tighter land-use
policies, forcing housing and other development into existing urban areas
rather than allowing it to sprawl ever further onto farms and other open
spaces. Higher-density housing, growing up rather than out, they say,
should be intertwined with policies that discourage automotive travel and
promote mass transit.
A "smart growth caucus" pushed a number of bills in the
just-concluded legislative session aimed at implementing these growth
theories but saw only limited success as local governments and
developers resisted what they saw as an intrusion on their prerogatives
and property rights. The biggest successes for the bloc were a measure
that requires housing developers to
secure water sources and a proposed bond
issue for a high-speed rail system. But if a new poll is accurate, the
smart-growth'ers are paddling against a strong
current of public opinion. Despite advice to
the contrary, Californians, it would seem, want to live in single-family detached homes
suburban neighborhoods and drive their cars when and where they wish.
It means that if the smart-growth'ers
are to see their theories become government policy, they'll have to
persuade a governor, legislators and other officials to make decrees that run against the expressed wishes of the
Affordable housing in sunny California can only be desirable if
detached (mobile or manufactured) on reasonably sized lots. (Contempo Estate in
Marin is a good example). Apartment dwellers never settle for apartment
people NOT to live in the suburbs and choose a smaller house/lot is a