There was a great article in this Saturday’s Houston Chronicle by Cato Institute scholar Randall O’Toole, who runs “The Antiplanner” website (linked at the side of this website). I’ve seen O’Toole speak on matters of urban planning and growth in the past, and know that he’s a really sharp guy on these issues, able to articulate why, exactly, city planning from a government office makes it difficult for individuals to live and work how and where they want.
His piece in the Chronicle–which is worth reading in its entirety–concludes with this:
Houston should not attempt to write a comprehensive land-use plan or try to control or limit land uses in a misguided effort to improve livability by controlling where or how residents live. To preserve Houston’s livability, affordability and growth-friendly environment, Houston should focus on maintaining a responsive government that provides the services people need, not one that is merely carrying out the latest planning fads.
Because that’s what they are: fads, and they’re driven by academics who may have a completely different vision for a city than that which families, if given the choice, would have.
Many people have added their comments to O’Toole’s article, so pay a visit and let your voice be heard, or you can even comment here. Let us know what you think and we’ll try to address your concerns.
Filed under: General commentary | Tags: choice, freedom, growth, houston, people smart, smart growth, zoning
Houston is a hub of business and cultural activities. We raise our kids in Houston, begin our businesses here, and many of us choose it as the place where we’ll own our very first home. We do all of this because Houston is a place where these things are not only possible, but also affordable. This is because people–not bureaucrats sitting in offices downtown–direct Houston’s growth and development. The government does not know what’s best for you or your family, and doesn’t know how to make plans for a city in which you’ll enjoy living.This blog is here to provide a number of voices who agree with these sentiments and who don’t want to see Houston become a less dynamic, livable and affordable city due to a greater and greater number of rules and regulations. We understand that more government red tape makes it more expensive for us to own property, send our children to school and run a business. We want to see developers work together with neighborhoods when planning new construction, and see this sort of civic involvement as a much better option to new laws that may only be relevant to a certain project.Here are some news articles outlining the current debate for or against zoning in Houston.