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Limiting Growth in the Southland

November 27, 1987

All of the ordinances and initiatives he discussed are not the no-growth reactions he feared, they are calls to limit, for various reasons, the amount of building being done. Weiss warns that limits would cut the tax base that supports the infrastructure he speaks of. But even if we completely stopped building today, the county revenues would neither rise nor fall--reasonable growth would only raise it. And the increased value of existing developed property would partially or wholly offset the tax losses from limiting other development. So there is no crisis in the making.

This future Weiss fears is not the one we should worry about. There is a difference between the immediate future and the other more difficult future: It is the difference between following the direction of current trends and trying to imagine where we will turn when those trends break down. Weiss says, in effect, "Let's keep building," only in the end compounding the problems we have today. And what do we do after the Southland has run out of sufficient water, what do we do to cover the cost of trucking our garbage and sewage sludge hundreds of miles inland because there is no place here anymore?

The government is trying to limit civic growth, not economic growth, which Weiss sometimes confuses. He does not recognize the strain on the infrastructure of building single-family residences in outlying areas, of bringing more people into "full" communities. LAWRENCESINCICH

Torrance

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