Thomas Ragonetti has practiced land-use law for more than three decades and taught land-use planning at the University of Denver since 1993. This has led him to the same conclusion as the Antiplanner: “Growth management is inherently an elite or luxury good.”
“The wealthy will always win a bidding war for the most desirable dwellings while the poorer classes end up being squeezed,” Denver Post writer Vincent Carroll explains. “The more extreme the growth management, the farther it will slice up the income scale.”
So Colorado has Boulder, one of the nation’s earliest practitioners of growth management, whose housing is more expensive (relative to incomes) than 90 percent of the rest of the country. Most of the 10 percent that is more expensive is in California, most of whose coastal cities having practiced growth management almost as long as (or longer than) Boulder. Of course, the people in these cities mostly regard themselves as “progressive,” meaning they care about poor people — they just want them to live somewhere else.