By Cheryl Weber. Atlanta. "There are big differences from county to county in what people want on the smart growth spectrum — neo-traditional communities, small lots, big green spaces, or none of those things. We spend more money and time up front doing research and feasibility studies, but we're able to do larger projects, which are more productive from a marketing standpoint." — Jim Parker, president of Beazer Homes, Georgia
Phoenix. "Both fees and time frames have increased approximately 30 [percent] to 50 percent for residential development over the last five years, due to budget constraints and workloads as well as smart growth initiatives." — Kathleen Wade, CEO, Standard Pacific Homes Arizona Division
Washington, D.C. metro. "Land-use regulations have resulted in a shrinking land inventory. Elected officials and citizens express support for smart growth initiatives but consistently oppose projects that meet smart growth concepts such as high density and access to existing infrastructure. Harriett Tregoning, secretary of the Maryland Smart Growth Department, recently noted that the localities are only meeting 75 percent of allowable densities." — Susan Matlick, executive vice president, Maryland-National Capital BIA
Chicago. "There's a lot of legislation being proposed in the state capitol, but not much of it has landed. The length of time it takes to get projects approved is directly proportional to whether or not the community wants it, rather than whether it complies with their comprehensive plan." — Jerry Conrad, Cambridge Homes, Chicago
Dallas. "It can take a year and a half to process a subdivision map, whereas five years ago it took three months. In the north, requirements for larger lots and more expensive building materials are driving up the cost of housing, prompting Frisco to create a housing trust fund to assist its public service employees with down payments." — Robert Morris, executive vice president, HBA of Greater Dallas, Plano
Houston. "We're not yet hearing the call to reduce sprawl and traffic congestion. There is land to build on inside the city limits for another 20 years, and no municipal zoning requirements." — Kurt Watzek, senior division president, Beazer Homes, Houston
Las Vegas. "We're just beginning to see concerns about the shrinking availability of water and land. Community development departments are more focused than ever on the quality of growth, causing permitting delays and more expense to builders to get projects approved." — John Michell, president of the BA of Northern Nevada
Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif. "Smart growth issues are part and parcel of what we deal with in Southern California. Some cities have their act together and enable us to plan accordingly. In others, regulations and citizen protests prevent us from starting homes on a timely basis." — Jay Moss, president and regional general manager, KB Home's Greater Los Angeles division.
Minneapolis. "More and more communities are encouraging mixed-use development. On the other hand, citizens have latched onto the term smart growth to attack any project they don't like. The approval process takes longer now, attributable to more complicated regulations and procedures." — Michael Noonan, vice president of Minnesota divisions, Rottlund Homes
Charlotte, N.C. "Charlotte is in the middle of major rewrite of zoning and planning ordinances, trying to force development into transit corridors. Lot development costs for the residential parts of TND communities are almost 100 percent more than in standard subdivisions." — Bill Daleure, president Crosland Land, Charlotte, N.C.
Back to Strategies 2003: Sprawling Scene
Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, December 2002