Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, June 20, 2008

Growth Management, Isn't

The Growth Management Act was adopted in 1990 because Democrats in the Washington Legislature "found that uncoordinated and unplanned growth posed a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development, and the quality of life in Washington."

As with all pie-in-the-sky social engineering projects liberals adopt, such as telling people where to live, where to shop, what to eat and drink, how much to drive, etc., etc., the GMA has been an unqualified disaster.

In a story Wednesday, the Seattle Times reported that:
In just over three years, Seattle already is halfway to reaching its targeted housing growth for 20 years.

And a few sections of town — Ballard, Eastlake, the Central Area, Greenlake, Lower Queen Anne and downtown — already have exceeded their 20-year targets.
Not surprising really. The Growth Management Act forced densification of core areas by prohibiting development outside "urban growth boundaries." So instead of living in suburbs, as has been the pattern since WWII, people are jamming into Seattle area condos and apartments as fast as developers can build them.

Even stubborn refusal by the Democrats in Olympia to address congestion problems that have resulted in Seattle having the 9th worst traffic in the U.S. has not slowed growth, as prayed for by the treehuggers.

The Growth Management Act should actually have been called the Real Estate Broker and Developers Enrichment Act. Land use regulations, concluded a recent University of Washington study, have added $200,000 to the cost of an average Seattle home. In fact, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, housing prices have appreciated significantly statewide since the passage of the GMA. Affordable housing for young families is scarce and growing scarcer.

Silly leftists, Trix are for kids. The Law of Unintended Consequences is immutable. People are like water. They are inexorable, constantly defy expectations, and always find the path of least resistance. God Himself gave us free will. If He cannot control what we choose to do, how can inept bureaucrats in Olympia hope to do so?

TRUE urban planning would account for human choice and behavior and not be based on idealistic and starry-eyed politicans and activists with no knowledge of the real world.

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