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View Poll Results: Are the Western states in their entirety that are developing too fast?
Yes there's many states developing too fast and there's not enough undisturbed places 14 33.33%
Most portions of the West developing at about the right, sensible pace 11 26.19%
There's many portions of the West that could be developing faster 17 40.48%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-16-2019, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,059 posts, read 6,492,687 times
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What, do you think there is some “big brother” putting the kibosh on development in the west? Guess what, there’s not.

It’s called mountains.

Part of the reason why the South, Northeast and Midwest are able to endlessly sprawl is because there is nothing to stop it. It’s easy to convert farmlands into residential. Can’t do that with mountains.

Notice the fast developing areas in the west, Phoenix and Vegas, are in valleys. Once those are developed, there really isn’t much you can do. And look at Seattle. Limited land sandwiched between bays, lakes and mountains. Not much you can do.

And much more land out west is partitioned as parkland and Indian reservations. That’s not ever going to change nor should it.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:49 AM
 
526 posts, read 202,136 times
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Ever since I spent lots of time in Asia and Europe, nowhere in the Western US is considered "crowded"
Even the Eastern US, I would only consider NYC "crowded" in a truly global sense. The USA is just not a crowded county, really.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,915 posts, read 1,904,360 times
Reputation: 9068
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
Denver's population density, as of 2017, is 4,044 people per square mile.

Detroit, which has been emptying out for decades, has block after block with one or two occupied houses on them, and is about the farthest thing you could call from "crowded", still has a density of 4,878 people per square mile.

"Per square mile" is the most useless of all indicators. It depends on the historical and statutory factors that defined or limited the municipal boundaries. Look at the population densities of Suffolk vs Newport News.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:08 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,508 posts, read 18,596,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
Denver's population density, as of 2017, is 4,044 people per square mile.

Detroit, which has been emptying out for decades, has block after block with one or two occupied houses on them, and is about the farthest thing you could call from "crowded", still has a density of 4,878 people per square mile.
Denver has 154 square miles of land area within its municipal boundaries. Within that land area is Denver Airport which has 52 square miles of land, so 1/3 of that land area is skewed by the airport and not residential areas.


https://www.google.com/maps/place/De...!4d-104.990251
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:30 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,858 posts, read 9,239,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Living in Colorado, I've heard frequently that the whole state's overrun and crowded to the brim, ruined from the Californian or XYZians moving in, and we need to put legislation in place to limit this tide. This same refrain seems to be repeated from people in other western states. But the more I explore, the more I'm convinced this is BS and the people that keep repeating this are too lazy to look up a new area to go explore, don't bother trying to commute at anytime besides peak hours, and expect some of the the most scenic areas in the world to somehow be devoid of people. I'll agree that almost all the national parks are overpacked during nice times of the year, but there's more than enough public land to go around and it's so easy to find other beautiful areas that look similar. Also, we're not going to run out of elk, moose, ponderosa pines, or trout due to development or people wandering around in their habitat IMO.

When you look at the area as a whole, essentially there's just slivers of the west that are overcrowded while the vast majority has few people out and about or living there. Even along I-70 west of Denver, one of the most crowded interstates, there's so many hiking trails 1-1.5 hours away that have basically no one on them despite being the classic Rocky Mountain scenery people come to see. Urban areas in the west frequently have problems keeping up with the incoming population, but that's a planning problem or a problem to that small specific location. The southern coast of California is very likely as full as it should be, but I don't believe the entire state of California is all the way full when there's still so many counties in the north and eastern part state that are very sparsely inhabited that have the potential be. The same thing is true of Colorado, the front range is full, but not the entire western half.

Water will invariably come up in this discussion, and very little is left that could easily be tapped, but we're not close to running out if we take water used for agriculture and use that for development consumption. And yes, while there's barren portions of the west that couldn't reasonably be inhabited, there's millions and millions of untapped acres that could be, excluding the desert portions.

So, what do you think, looking at the area in it's entirety, not focusing on a few metros, would you say this part of the US overpacked?
I agree. Unfortunately bitching about out of state people is a popular pastime. I lived in Montana and Wyoming and heard it ad nauseum. Some places are developing too quickly but it's hardly the whole states. That being said, I'd hate to see these wilderness areas disappear.
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:43 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
45 posts, read 9,690 times
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I for one, am glad the mountains keep the West from being developed too quickly. We're moving to the California desert in less than a month, and where we will be living is a low-population area that is mostly residential. Nearest Walmart is nearly an hour away, which is good. I don't want to be crowded the way I've been here on the East Coast. Should the area we move to start to develop, we plan on hightailing it to the NorCal mountains or some other state with big hills.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,176 posts, read 2,234,378 times
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Unlike points east of the 100th meridian, development in the west is dependent upon being in population centers to create collective power for water access. This tends to mean people are somewhat compacted into these population centers while great swaths of land are undeveloped. East of the Mississippi is the exact opposite since there is enough easily accessible water for any sort of little town to develop 20-40 minutes outside of dense population centers.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,274 posts, read 2,717,400 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
What, do you think there is some ďbig brotherĒ putting the kibosh on development in the west? Guess what, thereís not.

Itís called mountains.

Part of the reason why the South, Northeast and Midwest are able to endlessly sprawl is because there is nothing to stop it. Itís easy to convert farmlands into residential. Canít do that with mountains.

Notice the fast developing areas in the west, Phoenix and Vegas, are in valleys. Once those are developed, there really isnít much you can do. And look at Seattle. Limited land sandwiched between bays, lakes and mountains. Not much you can do.

And much more land out west is partitioned as parkland and Indian reservations. Thatís not ever going to change nor should it.
Obviously there's no central agency squashing development, but there's a pervasive attitude of lets keep people out that has manifest itself in several ways. Yes, having any slope, particularly steep mountain sides makes building more difficult, that's part of the price you have to pay for being near the scenery. It's part of the reason why houses are more expensive per square foot.

But there is no shortage of valleys to live in. What I'm advocating for is not to increase the tide of people flowing to the largest cities in the west which are indeed facing congestion problems, but funneling development to the many smaller towns and cities that are in nice locations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDak15 View Post
I agree. Unfortunately bitching about out of state people is a popular pastime. I lived in Montana and Wyoming and heard it ad nauseum. Some places are developing too quickly but it's hardly the whole states. That being said, I'd hate to see these wilderness areas disappear.
I don't think the wilderness areas are disappearing though. I believe the amount of wilderness area has only increased with time, not decreased. I think basically every one of the western ecosystems has a wilderness portion. That being said, I'm opposed to wildernessing off most the west. There's no reason to; people snowmobiling by or riding their bikes on the trails are not ruining the area, they aren't endangering the wildlife... Most of the national forest land acreage is as undisturbed as the wilderness areas, it's just easier to access and allows for more recreation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonHippy View Post
I for one, am glad the mountains keep the West from being developed too quickly. We're moving to the California desert in less than a month, and where we will be living is a low-population area that is mostly residential. Nearest Walmart is nearly an hour away, which is good. I don't want to be crowded the way I've been here on the East Coast. Should the area we move to start to develop, we plan on hightailing it to the NorCal mountains or some other state with big hills.
But, should your new area start to develop, would you be happy for the increase in home value you get and excited to start in a new area or would you complain about it?
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,274 posts, read 2,717,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
Unlike points east of the 100th meridian, development in the west is dependent upon being in population centers to create collective power for water access. This tends to mean people are somewhat compacted into these population centers while great swaths of land are undeveloped. East of the Mississippi is the exact opposite since there is enough easily accessible water for any sort of little town to develop 20-40 minutes outside of dense population centers.
There are big swaths of the west that can't easily get water and that will obviously prevent people from living there. But are any of the more populated cities in the west that just don't have any more water available? Say Idaho Falls starts growing faster than Boise, couldn't they just take more of the Snake river's water and Boise take less? If Elko started to really grow, couldn't they just purchase irrigated farm and ranch land and use that water?
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:38 AM
 
5,762 posts, read 3,053,495 times
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What you consider uncrowded might already feel too crowded to someone else, and no I am not even considering hermit types.

It is a good thing that at this point, the US still has variety. It would be horrible to have minimum-density development uniformly applied to the country.

Love crowds, proximity to all services, city amenities, hustlebustle, and neighbors very close to you—live in the city.

Love breathing room around you, low noise level, dark night sky, and privacy—live in low-density places.

There are plenty of choices that fall between those two, too. That’s a good thing.

There’s nothing wrong with leaving areas undeveloped.

Last edited by pikabike; 09-17-2019 at 08:50 AM..
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