Friday, April 3, 2009

A denser Central Valley

It might not sound like much, but a recent vote by the San Joaquin Valley Policy Council is a victory for smart growth in the valley.

The council, made of two elected officials of eight San Joaquin Valley counties, decided to ratchet up the overall density of the area, from 4.3 dwelling units per acre to 6.8 dwelling units per acre. (The targets for specific locales will vary, with cities obviously being denser and rural areas being more sparsely populated.)

It's part of the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint, an effort to try and get valley communities to coordinate growth and set a standard for future expansion.

At the project's heart is more condensed, sprawl-adverse growth. Planners are finally acknowledging that continuing with the status quo will lead to a Central Valley that's replaced its agriculture and open space with choking, Los Angeles-style suburbs.

Any effort to prevent that kind of dystopian future gets my thumbs up.

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