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Old 09-05-2014, 07:26 AM
 
3,508 posts, read 4,961,296 times
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The answer to sprawl isn't more regulation -- but it's fixing the endemic biases embedded in taxes, utlility fees, municipal services, and mortgages - according to the following article.

Why should
people living in older, dense communities, where infrastructure is already in place -- pay the same fees as people living in sprawling exurbs where electrical and sewer lines, road maintenance, trash pickup, school buses, and municipal services actually cost a lot more to provide ? See the link below.

Sprawl’s Hidden Subsidies | Bacon's Rebellion
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:34 AM
 
3,946 posts, read 4,043,310 times
Reputation: 4417
In my opinion, this article (ostensibly about Ferguson MO but really about the cost of sprawl) covers this much more clearly:

from the article:
Ferguson does what all other cities do and counts their infrastructure and other long-term obligations as assets, not only ignoring the future costs but actually pretending that the more infrastructure they build with borrowed money, the wealthier they become.

Honestly the sad answer is that it would be nearly impossible in the USA to value all the things she talked about on even a neighborhood by neighborhood basis (not even talking about the SF house level) without being inherently discriminatory. Also in many cities, the initial costs of infrastructure are paid for by the developer/builder, so it's really not cost for the city, until the maintenance starts, which Marohn's article covers much more clearly.

The ones that can be done without being inherently discriminatory (parking minimums) should be done as quickly as possible, but tons of people actually prefer suburban style sprawl, and don't want people walking around. City planners can't be the ones bearing this fundamental change on their own, or they will be quickly replaced by a government that does what its people want.

An example of this practice being conceived as discriminatory: the southern half of the city of Dallas TX doesn't have sewer infrastructure in place- they have a college and a rail stop plus houses (examples of major infrastructure) that are serviced by septic. A person interested in limiting sprawl might think this is a good thing - Dallas sprawls enough as it is, no need to build out infrastructure to enable more, but the southern half of Dallas is the black side of town. So the north end with the whites has sewers and the southern half doesn't. Is it racist to not build plumbing, or is it good economic sense? Really, it's both.

Last edited by TheOverdog; 09-05-2014 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,470,896 times
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I don't know where the author is getting the information, but I have worked in utilities in two states, California and Washington. A new development whether in a compact city block or going up a winding road in the hills is required to pay for extending the water and sewer mains. They must also pay for any lift stations, pumping plants, and fire hydrants. The charge for the pipes is per linear foot, so sprawl means much higher cost to the developer. There are even "elevation charges" added to water bills for people at higher elevations to cover the cost of pumping. Here are a couple of examples of the charges in the east bay (San Francisco Bay Area).

https://www.ebmud.com/sites/default/...edg-070114.pdf
https://www.ebmud.com/sites/default/...edf-070114.pdf
Attached Thumbnails
How flat household fees, serve to encourage sprawl development-elev.jpg  
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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A few bones to pick with this article:

Utilities (water, sewer, electricity and gas [which the author left out]) generally charge a connection fee of some sort when a home is being built. With water it's usually called a "tap fee". Sometimes charges to get a gas or electric line to a particular area can be very expensive. Here in CO, a lot of people have converted their wood-burning fireplaces to gas (d/t wood burning restrictions in the Denver metro area) and it is VERY expensive to get that gas line put in, even if the house already has gas lines for the furnace (which most do here).

Mortgage: That paragraph is an anti-car screed. Why not look at the clothing costs of the person, their drinking costs, gambling debts, their childcare costs and every other cost they might have if car operating costs should be factored in?

Parking: We've talking about this minimum parking requirement stuff a lot; I'm not interested in revisiting it in depth. I will say the author is full of crap. If a city requires off street parking for two cars per SF house, who do you think is paying for them? The HOMEOWNER!

Property tax: Again, she's full of it. People with no kids pay school tax. People who never break the law and never need the police or fire pay for police and fire protection. That's simply the cost of living in a society.

Some of this is covered in the comment section.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 09-05-2014 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,382 posts, read 59,858,320 times
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My skepticism grew after the first sentence in the "water/sewer" paragraph, because the sentence was so incorrect. Most of this article is so ludicrous that it doesn't deserve consideration.

Quote:
Natural gas, land-line telephone service and Cable TV follow similar patterns. Other location-variable costs include postal service, garbage collection, recycling, snow clearance and broadband Internet.
The author clearly does not understand how things work. And since the local power plant is closer to the suburbs than it is to the city, I guess the folks out in the country should be paying less for their electricity.

Quote:
Property tax. Property taxes are based on the assessed value of a house or commercial building, bearing no relation to the location-variable cost of maintaining infrastructure and municipal services.
This is so blatantly and hilariously wrong; property taxes have varied depending upon jurisdiction and that jurisdiction's direct costs. Since compact development and sprawl development don't share the same services, or have the same costs, why the hell would they pay the same taxes?

Why do people bother to post inane bullcrap like this?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:59 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,834,426 times
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The infrastructure argument is posted a lot, never with any solid numbers. Handwaving about linear feet per user (and completely ignoring or misrepresenting how it is paid for) is insufficient. Density brings its own costs to infrastructure, and whether those offset or more than offset the reduction in linear feet is not something you can come to an accurate conclusion by handwaving.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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I posted this article yesterday, in a different thread:
Youngstown News, Local, county and state officials try to bring natural gas lines to residents of Poland Township

It's an example of infrastructure being expanded without those who will use it having to pay for it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:45 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33070
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I posted this article yesterday, in a different thread:
Youngstown News, Local, county and state officials try to bring natural gas lines to residents of Poland Township

It's an example of infrastructure being expanded without those who will use it having to pay for it.
The area in question is hardly the "outback", and there's nothing in that article about the people who already live there (in other words not new housing) getting it for "free".

Did the houses in the older areas just spring up out of the ground with utilities already in service? Or did they go through the same process of being the new houses on the edge of town?
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The area in question is hardly the "outback", and there's nothing in that article about the people who alreay live there (in other words not new housing) getting it for "free".
Quote:
Dominion East would not bear the cost of putting in a line, another issue about which residents are concerned.
Schiavoni and Traficanti said they are looking into funding options from a variety of sources.
“I’ll work on my end on dealing with the state folks,” Schiavoni said.
Traficanti said he plans to look into funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, the Western Reserve Port Authority, other state entities and private corporations such as Hilcorp, and that he will get in touch with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, about the issue.
Only one of the possible funding options mentioned was private corporations.


Also, as I pointed out in the other thread, after gas service is extended, (probably at tax payer expense) it won't be long until new housing developments start getting built.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:09 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33070
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Only one of the possible funding options mentioned was private corporations.


Also, as I pointed out in the other thread, after gas service is extended, (probably at tax payer expense) it won't be long until new housing developments start getting built.
As numerous other posters who have knowledge of this stuff have said, the government generally does not pay for these services. This is not a rural area. In Colorado, I can tell you, it would likely never happen. Maybe in Ohio, which is more socialist.

Slippery Slope is a logical fallacy.
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