June 06, 2002
Take a look at what the growth boundary created

King County, in which the city of Seattle is located, has had a growth boundary in place for about 10 years. Land outside this boundary cannot be subdivided for housing. As the city's population has increased, the amount of land available upon which to build has dwindled, and homes have become very expensive. Bruce Ramsey, editorial columnist for the Seattle Times, discusses this anti-populist populist measure, and its unintended consequences, in this column. A telling statistic:

A typical single-family lot 6,000 square feet, flat, no view costs $140,000 or $150,000 in King County.

This is Seattle, mind you, not New York or San Francisco. Eventually, when it becomes impossible for the average worker in Seattle to ever hope of owning a home, perhaps the policy will be rethought. On the other hand, slow-growth ordinances only pass in one-party People's Republics, and I've never heard of one being repealed (if you read this and know of one, please let me know), so it appears that housing will continue going up in neighboring counties, increasing commute times (and incidentally increasing pollution, since the transit systems don't do a lot of linking from county to county, decreasing the attractiveness of mass transit).

posted on June 06, 2002 08:55 PM


Is this what's happening to Portland, Oregon? Everyone I know out there has wound up in Clark County, Washington.

posted by CGHill on June 7, 2002 08:28 AM

I cannot say for sure, but I believe the same thing is occuring in Portland, albeit to a lesser degree, since Portland doesn't have Microsoft to drive growth.

posted by scutum on June 7, 2002 11:17 AM

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