Loving Growth Management in the Time of Recession
Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42, No. 4-Vol. 43, No. 1, Fall 2010/Winter 2011
8 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2011
Date Written: 2011
The current deep and long lasting recession has challenged the value of local government growth management programs – especially those which rely heavily on developer funded infrastructure finance programs such as impact fees. An examination of the characteristics of the current recession reveal that its severity is due in large part to excessive exuberance in housing development in the years preceding the burst of the housing bubble. Many local governments intensified the consequences of over-building by adopting ambitious infrastructure programs funded by impact and other fees charged to developers upon the issuance of building permits or other development approval actions. With residential building permit issuance at near zero in many formerly double-digit growth areas, local governments can no longer pay for nor do they need much of the planned or already constructed infrastructure. The authors advocate greater restraint by local governments in accepting growth projections and issuing bonds to be repaid through impact fee collection. Most importantly, the authors suggest as a pre-condition of development approval requiring developers to submit market studies establishing probable market demand for the proposed development.
Keywords: growth management, local government law, recession, unemployment, construction industry, economy, developmnet
JEL Classification: K30, K32, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation