Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Loudoun Smart Growth v2.0

Leonard Gilroy
July 24, 2005, 9:39am

Despite a brief respite, smart growth is back in Loudoun County, VA: Here's the article. The anti-sprawl crowd is certainly celebrating this victory, which is puzzling since it will effectively (1) mandate large-lot development (which anti-sprawlers often malign as "McMansionization") in western Loudoun County; (2) will force development further out, perpetuating the regional sprawl that anti-sprawlers claim to abhor; and (3) artificially constrain the housing supply, which will place upward pressure on housing prices and price low- and mid-income families out of the market. To claim that these mandates (if ultimately approved) will do anything to prevent sprawl is a stretch of the imagination. It's really just another illustration of the potency of reactionary NIMBYism and pastoral nostalgia. So to the smart growth crowd I say: enjoy the celebration, but don't come back complaining about social equity or the impacts of low-density development 5 or 10 years down the line when the chickens have come home to roost.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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