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"But it’s the only way."

Yeah, right. That's not the hallmark of creative thinking.

How about making the development pay for all (and I mean ALL) infrastructure improvements? Every foot of sewer line, water line, power line, gas line, phone line, sidewalk, road. Anything that can even remotely be tied to the new development is billed to the new development. Need to expand the sewage treatment plant? Bill the new developments. Need to widen the freeway? Bill the new developments.

How about changing the property tax structure inside a city limits to a flat fee, instead of based upon valuation? What this model does is encourage developers to turn poorly developed urban spaces into better developed spaces. If you are paying the same tax for a brown field for a condo tower, then you can bet a condo tower will be built. If a run down old store front getting $X worth of rent pays the same taxes as a new development that generates $5X, you can be sure the development will happen. Make the flat property tax available only inside city boundaries; outside it's the current system of increasing tax on development. This is a double whammy, driving development away from rural land into urban land.

I came up with those ideas just sitting here. I'm sure there are plenty of other ideas out there. Let different communities try different ideas, to see which ones work and which ones don't.

"The only way"? Puh-leeze!


Despite your unnecessary anti-"only way" hyperbole, I think that's a decent point you make about making these new Measure 37 developers pay for their developments. The problem is, under that scenario these developments beyond growth boundaries would still be allowed to exist. And I find that unacceptable. Granted I'm taking a hardline attitude about it, but to me a growth boundary is a growth boundary, period. No exceptions. If people's property value has been decreased as a result, maybe they deserve compensation--but NOT exemption from the laws we've set in place to plan our cities without cancerous sprawl.

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