Californians Population Growth 

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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 finds Californians have not bought into
the "smart" growth
ideas being promoted by planners.

Californians aspire to live in the suburbs even tho they don't like traffic and smog. Only 31% said they would choose a high-density neighborhood convenient to public transit.

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 other countries,
since immigration and babies born to immigrant mothers account for virtually all of the state's growth. And 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.
Since
Latinos, 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 Californians.

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.
Smart 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 in 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 public.

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 living. Convincing people NOT to live in the suburbs and choose a smaller house/lot is a futile goal.

 

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