(May 17, 2017) – Traditional "Large Lot Zoning" is "Greener" than "Smart Growth" within Urban Growth Boundaries . . . Copyright 2009 – 2017 . . . Tom Lane . . . Photographing California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.
(December 8, 2011, Tom Lane) While dozens of maps are in various posts, below are several links to interactive maps, some of which include 2009 or 2010 ACS U.S. Census Data . . . along with additional maps on weather, climate, science, technology, and other geographic variables . . .
How Interactive Maps Help Understand the Location of Smart Growth and Foreclosures
Throughout this post, I’ll discuss how interactive maps help us understand the location of smart growth, urban growth boundaries, and foreclosures. For example, in Sebastopol, California (an hour north of San Francisco), socialized smart growth housing exists, since Sebastopol is very liberal with members of the Green Party in office. The city wants to provide affordable housing for everyone. You will find literally hundreds of “green” publications during a visit to their Chamber of Commerce office.
However, Sebastopol housing is expensive in the first place due to the City’s urban growth boundary. For 10 miles between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California, agricultural land and vineyards are outside the urban growth boundary, and cannot be developed.
And, of course, concepts such as smart growth and urban growth boundaries originally began in highly affluent, liberal areas such as California, Oregon, Washington, and Boulder, Colorado.
From the California Planners’ 1999 “Book of Lists,” Here’s a List of California Jurisdictions Who Have Enacted an Urban Growth Boundary or Urban Limit Line (Including Boundaries Enacted By Voter Initiative):
Since this list is ten years old, additional California cities and counties may have added urban growth boundaries since 1999.
Income, political affiliation, religion, and other demographic variables – inevitably – are related to the presence or absence of “smart growth” policies and/or foreclosures in a region, such as urban growth boundaries in California. For example, areas with lower incomes, less college graduates, and higher unemployment rates have higher foreclosure rates (such as Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ). You can find these demographic variables on the various interactive maps below. Engineers and computer scientists make more money, and foreclosures are less likely in places such as Boulder, compared to Las Vegas, despite urban growth boundaries in Boulder.
Areas that have moderate incomes, yet strict land use regulations, have severe housing affordability (such as Seattle, Portland, and Sonoma County, California). And, here’s the urban growth boundary outside of Sebastopol, with Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park at the base of the distant mountains, 10 miles away (at sunset, looking ESE). It’s beautiful countryside, however if you’re like me and want to buy land for an organic farm, it’s difficult. Your choices are planters on your deck on a tiny lot in Sebastopol’s socialized housing, or on a 50 acre farm that’s too expensive in the distance below:
Another example is rural Oregon, where state restrictions on timber, natural gas, and construction caused the decline of the middle class. Food stamp usage has reached high levels in rural Oregon, and also in South King County, Washington (between Seattle and Tacoma), where NAFTA and GATT (free trade agreements supported by the Democrats and Bill Clinton) sent blue collar jobs overseas.
See maps below for Oregon and the Seattle area foot stamp usage, from the December 5, 2011 edition of the Portland and Seattle papers.
Interactive Map, American Migration, Forbes
The most interesting map I’ve found is for county to county migration, for every county in the U.S. from Forbes –
“Close to 40 million Americans move from one home to another every year. Click anywhere on the map below: blue counties send more migrants to the selected county than they take; red counties take more than they send. Published on November 16, 2011”
Note the migration of folks out of California.
Interactive Map – Demographic Factors for Every Census Tract, The New York Times
“Mapping America: Every City, Every Block – Browse local data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009. Because these figures are based on samples, they are subject to a margin of error, particularly in places with a low population, and are best regarded as estimates.”
Interactive Maps – Growth in U.S. Metro Areas, 2000-2010, Stephen Von Worley
Interactive Map – School Performance for California Schools
Other states besides California may have been mapped by the time you click this link –
Interactive Map – Obama and McCain Results by County, 2008, The New York Times
What will happen in 2012, especially given that Obama is a strong proponent of Smart Growth and Mass Transit?
Interactive Map – Foreclosure Locator from Zillow
Interactive Map – International Mountain Biking Association Trail Care Crew
Interactive Map – Popularity of Baby Name, Every Year by State since 1960
Map – “Building An Innovation Nation,” March 4, 2009
It’s not just the Silicon Valley in California, it’s also Seattle and many small college towns.
Interactive Maps – Patents in U.S. Cities – Univ. of New Mexico – Los Alamos
Map – Rate of New Home Construction Correlates with Economic Growth -Massachusetts Housing Partnership
Interactive Maps – Personality Types for All 50 States
This map explains why those on the West Coast and New England, find people in Arizona and the Southwest and South/Southeast, as too ordinary and conservative. Californians are known to hate Arizona, and vice versa! The West Coast and New England rank very high for “Open to Experience,” compared to the SW and South/SE. A high “Openness” score is associated with political liberalism (or, fiscal conservative / social liberal), along with an open mind for new ideas, and acceptance in differences among people such as race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
“In rural Oregon, middle-class life is slipping away,” Published: Saturday, December 03, 2011 Due to Oregon’s restrictions on natural gas, timber, and construction, rural Oregonians are very upset with the Democrat party who runs the state.
Washington Food Stamps, Wages, and other data, The Seattle Times, December 5, 2011
As in Oregon, a decline in construction from the housing crisis, and urban growth boundaries, results in increasing food stamp usage. These maps show the Seattle area.
Dr. Richard Morrill, Seattle, University of Washington, Maps on 2010 Seattle area Population by Census Tract
And, refer to index page for more articles by Dr. Morrill with more maps of the Seattle area.
2010 U.S. Census American Community Survey
Interactive Map – Climate Maps of the U.S. – NOAA
“Welcome to the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) Climate Maps Of The United States database (CLIMAPS)! In here you will find over 2000 climate maps of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.”
Current Weather, NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
Interactive Map, Thousands of Weather Stations in the Western U.S. with Statistics, Western Regional Climate Center, Reno
Mean Monthly Sunshine, from the Classic 1970 National Atlas from the University of Texas
More Climate and Other Maps from the Classic 1970 National Atlas from the Index Page
Interactive Map – State University of New York at Albany – 15 Day Jet Stream Maps
DIFAX Charts from SUNY – Albany
Interactive Weather Maps – University of Washington, Seattle
Average Monthly Hours of Precipitation for Western US Cities
Interactive Maps – Southern Poverty Law Center, Map of Hate Groups by State
Economic inequality from urban growth boundaries, and smart growth housing policies, increases the formation of self destructive behaviour on both sides, from the Occupy Movement on the radical Left, to the unofficial “Libertarians,” Survivalists, and other groups on the radical right.
So far, the Southern Poverty Law Center has not included Libertarian hate groups or individuals (who are outside of the official Libertarian party, and these unofficial groups may be anti-gay or anti-Semitic), or the Occupy Wall Street protestors (who are violent and also anti-Semitic), on its map and web site.
Another View of Socialized Housing in Sebastopol, California
It’s unfortunate that land use regulation results in housing affordability, foreclosures, and diminishing wages. Policymakers choose to build crowded infill communities, such as the photos here in Sebastopol, California, instead of expanding urban growth boundaries, over what in many locations is often relatively unproductive “farmland.” (Although, this is not the case in the warm temperate climate of coastal California. However, Seattle and Bend are surrounded with unproductive “farmland,” that must be preserved, by law.).
Whether its Seattle, Sebastopol, Portland, or Boulder, smart growth and urban growth boundaries ultimately create foreclosures and poverty. The interactive maps above help understand both the causes and distribution of smart growth housing, and the consequences of land usage rationing, including boom and bust housing markets and eventual poverty with food stamp use.
By the way, for those who know about Sebastopol and Santa Rosa County in California, yes, they have lots of occupy protestors, as shown in the newspaper box above. However the vast majority of residents are hard working, employed, progressive Democrats, who don’t protest. They’ve been told by their local city councils, that “smart growth” is the only solution to unaffordable housing. However, soon, public demand for larger lots will result in other paradigms, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City.
And, you can bet that the progressive minded individuals from the central California Coast up to Seattle will be the first to implement Broadacre City, just as they’ve been the first to implement every other new idea, given their “Open to Experience” personality type (at the map of U.S. personality types above).
Sebastopol: Say No To Nuclear, Say No to Fossil Fuels, and Say NO to Affordable Housing
Socialized housing in Sebastopol seems inconsistent with an otherwise populist, peaceful agenda promoting solar power, and establishing a nuclear free zone. While I used to be 100% for nuclear power, I’m now 100% against it, due to what happened in Japan. I’m all for solar energy, as long as the nearly bankrupt Federal Government does not pay for it.
However, in my view, it’s inconsistent to advocate for solar power and other “green” infrastructure such as bike trails, yet at the same time fail to provide large backyards for organic gardens. Therefore, I oppose Sebastopol’s urban containment efforts. Fortunately, West Sonoma County does have one to five acre properties, available for rent or purchase, for organic farms.
Indeed, once you get outside of the urban growth boundaries of Petaluma, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and Sebastopol, property prices decrease in unincorporated communities along the north coast of California. In Guerneville, Monte Rio, and other places along the Russian River, home prices are significantly less, and the bubble was not as intense – compared to cities with urban growth boundaries.
Certainly, the issues that I have raised are being discussed nationwide, at City and County meetings. More people are moving away from overcrowded, high density cities to Exurban counties such as Sonoma County, seeking acreage for organic farming and retirement homes. -Copyright 2011, Tom Lane
Here are a few more photos: