Growth and land-use

Love this article in today’s NY Times.

For the lazy: The article makes the case that America doesn’t have boomtowns anymore, because the cities with the most economic opportunity have put in place land0use restrictions that keep housing prices very high, blocking new workers from coming in.

Now, as a developer with a growing property portfolio, I’m obviously benefitting from these growth restrictions.

But, as an American who would love to see the economy return to the days of 3-4% / year growth instead of 1-2%, I would welcome anything that would make it easier to add housing to LA and other highly productive metro areas.

To me, the big opportunity to do so is the impending arrival of autonomous cars, which have the potential to free all of us from the tyranny of minimum parking requirements.

Simply by waiving parking requirements, LA could easily add tens of thousands of new units, which would have an amazingly positive impact on the city (each new resident is a new potential employee, consumer of goods and services, and new tax-payer).

Let’s hope our politicians are brave enough to seize this opportunity.