NAHB Opinion: Planning for Growth

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I magine that a new state law requires your local government to streamline the subdivision approval process, making it easier for you to develop land and build homes.

November 01, 2001
NAHB President Bruce Smith

 

Imagine that a new state law requires your local government to streamline the subdivision approval process, making it easier for you to develop land and build homes. Now imagine that the same state law gives anyone, anywhere the power to sue to alter or block your development project.

This scenario is a real possibility because the American Planning Association’s new Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook will soon make its way to every state legislature and likely will prompt many states to review and change their planning and land-use laws. Developed by the APA with funding and oversight from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the book is intended to help states modernize planning-enabling statutes and to create the next generation of planning laws.

Undoubtedly, the guidebook will be the most significant planning document our nation has seen in decades and will have a lasting effect on the way we build homes and communities. It will be a catalyst for review of and changes to existing state land-use policies and likely will generate major changes in thousands of jurisdictions across the country. For this reason, the NAHB is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that its members and associations have the tools they need to understand the guidebook and its provisions and to work to protect homeownership, housing choice and housing affordability in communities across the country.

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