Let’s fill in instead of sprawl

By From page A10 | November 07, 2012

As the housing market begins to improve, we are set to see an increasing demand for new homes, rising home prices and a popular demand to build new housing. Historically, as the volume of demand for new homes goes up, the city is swayed to find a quick solution — building new tract housing. Enter the tract developer offering the usual soccer fields and new school sites in exchange for building new units.

This quick fix will not answer the need for infill alternative housing for the age group 50 to 75, now representing 40 percent of the Davis home market or enable the recycling of our older neighborhoods. We recycle our bottles, newspapers and soda cans, so why do we avoid recycling older neighborhoods to allow greater access for younger families? If we create infill opportunities through city-sponsored incentive programs for inner-city redevelopment, we can minimize suburban sprawl, create alternative housing for empty-nesters and seniors, and ensure that our neighborhoods remain vital and multi-generational.

A good start would be to consider building condominiums along our busy central streets that currently are in transition from single-family to a growing rental market. These streets appear to have no clear vision in meeting the future needs of Davis. Thus, changing their use to condominiums increases “owner-occupied” homes centrally.

Doesn’t “infill” as opposed to “sprawl” make better sense for the future of Davis?

James A. Kidd


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