Courtesy of making the Streetsblog “front page” today for the article “Stockton less sprawling than Portland or Washington DC? Not so fast,” I became aware of the blog Stockton City Limits. It’s a great site that I recommend you look at, and I’ll be delving into the site more in the coming days. The topics are similar to this Getting Around Sacramento blog, including community, development, transportation, and smart growth. Stockton is similar in many ways to Sacramento, not just because it is on a river, but it is another classic Central Valley sprawl city which has a livable core but is surrounded by unsustainable suburbs with dismal walk scores and declining economies.
Two articles from the Sacramento Bee this Sunday illustrate how sprawl hurts us all.
How much water a community gulps varies across the Sacramento region (SacBee 2014-03-09)
The article highlights the remarkable variation in the amount of water used per capita by different areas in the region, with Granite Bay being the poster child for extensive lawns and landscaping. These exurban areas suck up the water that could be used for more productive domestic or agricultural purposes. This is not a lifestyle choice, this is extravagant misuse of our common resources. Where does this happen? Almost always in the exurbs. But many of these people still work in the urban core, their commutes eased by the freeways and arterials built with the money taken from the rest of us taxpayers. They have us coming and going. Literally.
Sacramento ‘ruralpolitans’ feed the animals, then don suits for city jobs (SacBee 2014-03-09)
The article highlights people who live in rural areas close to the urban core and commute to regular jobs. Another seeming lifestyle choice, made possible by the freeways and arterials that make it easy for people to live in a seeming rural paradise but work where the jobs are higher paying. They pay low property taxes, but benefit from the transportation network and other services that all of us pay for. If these people were actually serving some agricultural purpose, I’d be a lot more willing to provide some subsidy to their lifestyle, but they are only playing at agriculture, contributing nothing to the rest of us.
“Previous sprawl has sent Fresno to the edge of bankruptcy.” – Keith Bergthold , City of Fresno Planning and Development, at the Partnering with K-12 Education in Building Healthy, Sustainable & Competitive Regions, 2012-12-06
The Cordova Hills development is on the agenda for the Sacramento Board of Supervisors on this Wednesday, December 12. The meeting starts at 2:30 pm in the county board chambers at 700 H St in Sacramento.
I hope that a many people will attend and protest this development. This is sprawl of the worst kind. Not only is it beyond all developed areas, it is even beyond the county’s generous growth boundary. With no significant employment opportunities within or near the development, people would be commuting long distances to work in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and Roseville. More vehicle miles, more air pollution, more climate change, more taxes required to maintain infrastructure. Less community cohesiveness, less time, less open space.