For two decades, members of the Natural Resources Trust have been a voice in the wilderness, trying to convince Plainville voters to support conservation measures. Sadly, there has been very little political will to prevent Plainville from being swallowed up by sprawl. Time is running out!
The Case Against Sprawl
excerpted from The Trust for Public Lands
Sprawl development not only consumes more land than high-density development, it requires more tax-supported infrastructure such as roads and sewer lines. Police and fire services and schools also must be distributed over a wider area.
One study found that New Jersey communities would save $1.3 billion in infrastructure costs over 20 years by avoiding unplanned sprawl development.
Another predicted that even a modest implementation of higher-density development would save the state of South Carolina $2.7 billion in infrastructure costs over 20 years. And a third found that increasing housing density from 1.8 units per acre to 5 units per acre in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area would slash $3 billion in capital infrastructure costs over 20 years. Many community leaders expect that the taxes generated by growth will pay for the increased costs of sprawl, but in many instances this is not the case.
The Benefits of Land Conservation
Instead of costing money, conserving open space as a smart growth strategy can save communities money:
Smart Growth Links:
Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance
Massachusetts Smart Growth Toolkit
Smart Growth Strategies for New England