Poll on growth

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Poll finds views on growth conflict. People have not bought into the "smart" growth ideas being promoted by planners. Californians aspire to live in the suburbs.

The overwhelming majority of those surveyed -- 86% -- said a single-family home would be their housing style of choice, especially those currently living in an apartment.

Two-thirds said they would prefer to live in a low-density neighborhood where they would have to drive to schools, jobs and stores. Only 31% said they would choose a high-density neighborhood convenient to public transit.

Californians are not happy with traffic congestion, but aren't willing to abandon their ideal: a roomy house in a suburban neighborhood where they have to drive almost everywhere.

An annual poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California concluded that state residents are deeply ambivalent about how to handle the massive growth expected in California during coming decades.
They expressed a high level of concern about traffic, air pollution and other issues, but also were largely satisfied with their lives.
Of the 2,010 people surveyed statewide, 82% said they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their commute???

"The results really point to the challenges that state and local officials have with trying to change land-use patterns in the state," said survey director Mark Baldassare.

People have not bought into the "smart growth" ideas being promoted by planners as the antidote to suburban sprawl, Baldassare said.

The basic idea behind smart growth is to build a mix of houses, apartments and businesses within walking distance of each other on vacant land in existing neighborhoods, rather than continuing to erect so many car-dependent residential subdivisions on farm fields.
"The case has not yet been made convincingly by the smart-growth advocates that higher-density communities can be attractive, desirable places to live," Baldassare said.
People dream of owning a roomy house with a big yard.

81% said traffic was at least somewhat of a problem in their area.

Growth and development was listed as a problem by 63% of those surveyed, and air pollution was listed by 60%.

They were generally pleased with their surroundings, however. 89% said they were either very or somewhat satisfied with the neighborhood in which they live.

Safety was the primary criterion used to choose a neighborhood, followed by living space.

Affordable housing in sunny California must ONLY be detached (mobile or manufactured) on reasonably sized lots. Apartment dwellers will never settle for apartment dwelling.

Bay Area Census

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