Building Rules: How Local Controls Shape Community Environments and Economies

By Kee Warner; Harvey Molotch | Go to book overview

series) to discern the local impacts of specific measures on residential building activity. We developed a technique to separate growth control impacts from the whole range of other local variations in development activity caused by social, economic, historical, geographic, and cultural differences. We also accounted statistically for statewide changes in building activity in order to separate out the affects of broad shifts in the business cycle or macroeconomic factors such as interest rate fluctuation (see Appendix A for details and complete results). 5

Contrary to the idea that new development regulations had stifled residential building, we found that in all but two instances -- both of which took place in the early 1970s in the Santa Barbara study area -- growth controls did nothing to slow residential growth. Commercial development was also quite robust, though we did not perform comparable statistical testing. It appears from our combined findings (and those of others) -- and this is a conservative way to put it -- that far more commercial growth occurred under growth control than local controversies suggested.

Our next task is to try to learn why so much development took place in the face of so many regulations presumed to curtail it -- a topic to which we now turn.


Notes
1.
Expressed in terms of the value of permitted construction. Data collection was facilitated by the government publications staff of the UCSB library and through the cooperation of the Construction Industry Research Board.
5.
We used dummy variables to capture these broader sources of variation, as described in Appendix A.

-58-

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Building Rules: How Local Controls Shape Community Environments and Economies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - The Relevance of Regulation 1
  • Notes 21
  • 2 - Sites 23
  • Notes 50
  • 3 - Has Growth Been Stopped? Not Much 52
  • Notes 58
  • 4 - Power to Build: How Cities Grow Under Growth Control 59
  • Notes 76
  • 5 - Project Peddling: What Gets Approved and How 78
  • Notes 102
  • 6 - Indirect Effects: How Building Rules Make Growth Different 104
  • Notes 127
  • 7 - Building the Rules 129
  • Notes 147
  • Appendix A: - Measuring Growth Control Impacts 149
  • Notes to Appendix A 156
  • Appendix B: Chronologies of Growth Control 157
  • Appendix C - Commercial Valuation Data, 1970-1990 167
  • Appendix E: Case Study Details 171
  • Appendix F: Interview Schedule 183
  • Reference List 185
  • Index 201
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