Cover image for Building rules : how local controls shape community environments and economies
Building rules : how local controls shape community environments and economies
Warner, Kee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 204 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1490 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HT169.72.C23 W37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Urban and suburban growth is a burning local issue for communities across the United States and many other parts of the world. Concerns include protecting habitats, high costs of infrastructure, social inequalities, traffic congestion and more intangible worries about "quality of life." Citizens pressure public officials to intensify development regulations, flying in the face of local "growth machines." Builders and growth boosters oppose regulation as unfair and bad for local economies. Based on a systematic comparative study of urban areas in Southern California, this book provides a much-needed examination of the true impacts of local development controls, including the ways that they have and have not made a difference. The authors draw general implications for communities elsewhere and how to better understand theories of growth and urban governance.

Author Notes

Kee Warner is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and an urban planner.
Harvey Molotch's has taught at various universities in the U.S. and Europe, most recently as Visiting Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1 The Relevance of Regulationp. 1
Environmentalism as Local Urgep. 4
The Critique: Stranglers of the Economyp. 7
Economy Versus the Environment: Some Past Findingsp. 12
Local Regulation and Urban Theoryp. 16
Assessing Regulationp. 20
Plan of the Bookp. 21
2 Sitesp. 23
Learning from Southern Californiap. 23
Selecting Study Sitesp. 25
Identifying Growth Controlsp. 26
Santa Barbara South Coastp. 30
Santa Monicap. 36
The Riverside Areap. 41
Growth Controls in Place: A Summaryp. 50
3 Has Growth Been Stopped? Not Muchp. 52
First Findings: Rates of Growthp. 52
Testing the Power of Growth Restrictionsp. 56
An Alternative Testing Strategyp. 57
4 Power to Build: How Cities Grow Under Growth Controlp. 59
Growth Through Symbolic Growth Controlp. 60
Growth Through Episodic Growth Controlp. 62
Growth Through Countervailing Policiesp. 64
Growth Through Developer Initiativesp. 66
The Context of Control: Comparative Power Advantagesp. 69
The Ways of Growthp. 73
5 Project Peddling: What Gets Approved and Howp. 78
Peddling Around with Our Projectsp. 80
What Gets Approved and Howp. 80
Project Environmental Reviewsp. 95
Local Knowledge Base for Planning Decisionsp. 100
Resisting Growth: A Matter of Degreep. 101
6 Indirect Effects: How Building Rules Make Growth Differentp. 104
Trafficp. 105
Natural Limitsp. 108
Affordable Housingp. 109
Social Equityp. 112
Urban Spatial Formp. 117
Project Aestheticsp. 120
Exactions on the Ground: A Tally Between Placesp. 122
7 Building the Rulesp. 129
Enhancing the Quality of Public Decisionsp. 130
Regulation as Economic Boonp. 132
Grounding Sustainabilityp. 133
Who Wins What?p. 135
Making Markets Smarterp. 141
Valuing Land and Communityp. 143
Balancing Commercial and Public Interestsp. 145
Taking Stock of Local Controlsp. 146
Appendix A Measuring Growth Control Impactsp. 149
Notes to Appendix Ap. 156
Appendix B Chronologies of Growth Controlp. 157
Appendix C Commercial Valuation Data, 1970-1990p. 167
Appendix D Residential Building Ratesp. 169
Appendix E Case Study Detailsp. 171
Appendix F Interview Schedulep. 183
Reference Listp. 185
Indexp. 201