Saturday, November 10, 2007

Denver's Regional Growth Boundary Expands

If you didn't catch it, the project to develop the old Lowry Bombing and Gunnery range got the green light. The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) approved the project by expanding the regional growth boundary to include the area with the old range. Opponents objecting to the plan raised many issue, mainly that of water supplies.

What hasn't been mentioned is how not expanding the urban growth boundary will affect housing prices. Heavily planned urban areas such as San Francisco and Vancouver have extremely high housing prices. Vancouver, a metro area with a smaller population than Denver-Aurora, as of 2005 had a median housing price of $525,000! Only a 1/4 of new housing within metro Vancouver's growth boundary is single family housing. Could it be opponents to this project don't want the growth boundary expanded because they won't be able to force their vision, one like Vancouver where freeways end at the city boundary and the lion share of new housing is multi-unit, through the DRCOG is the boundary continues to expand?

If you're wondering why the expansion is needed, the state of Colorado's population grew by over 10% the first 6 years of the decade. If the population is growing, the need for urban areas is growing.

Note : Keep in mind that calling an area urban in this context doesn't mean urban in the sense of old neighborhoods of Denver. It includes the type of development we commonly refer to as suburban these days.

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