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Quote of the Day - Teach children to be polite and courteous in the home, and, when he grows up, he will never be able to edge his car onto a freeway. - Unknown
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Mix Together Houses, Freeways, Open Space, Regulations, Lawsuits, And What Do You Get?

The process to get through CEQA is not an easy one. Even the Guidelines can be daunting. Depending on who you're talking to, the California Environmental Quality Act is either a benefactor or the devil.

Governor Schwarzenegger wants to streamline CEQA and honor his campaign pledge to have us spend more time at home instead of on the freeways.

The governor and the legislature are considering changes to CEQA designed to provide affordable housing. Environmentalists claim more housing means more cars, which translates directly into clogged freeways. Environmentalists want less pollution, less cars and more open space.

Builders want less regulations and less lawsuits challenging environmental issues. Increased time dealing with regulations and court challenges drive up housing costs.

There are a significant number of bills pending on housing, and more than 24 on CEQA alone. Homeowners, on the other hand, are seeing record prices for homes, and the median house price has hit well over $400,000 in many counties. Some homeowners think that more houses will drive down the value of their home, since supply is short now.

The legislature has apparently focused the debate on infill, not necessarily urban sprawl that attracts the most resistance from environmentalists.

There seems to be no easy answer to the combination of high housing prices, clogged freeways, preservation of endangered species and open space, the need for affordable housing and less government regulation and (can you believe a lawyer's saying this?) less lawsuits.

So, here's your chance to weigh in. If you live in California, or even if you don't, how would you solve this confluence of issues?

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, April 04, 2005 at 15:56 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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