Opinion » Letters

Sprawl is what it is

San Luis Obispo

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In “The price of expansion” (Feb. 3), John King denied that his proposed Price Canyon project is sprawl development, saying “it’s as far from urban sprawl as you can get. ... When it’s done, it will be the least dense of any built-up urban area in the county.”

It is disconcerting to see that King does not seem to know what sprawl is.

His description of his project is the definition of low-density sprawl, as opposed to compact development with appropriate density. As former Ashland, Ore., planning commissioner Brent Thompson wrote: “Sprawl is the continual use of more land than is necessary to accomplish a given development goal. Sprawl is the consumption of resources and land in excess of what is needed to create a comfortable, livable, and functional city, [costing] cities and counties tremendous amounts of money in extra paving and road maintenance costs, and extra sewer and storm drain construction and maintenance costs—and extra costs for the many other services local governments provide. Sprawl also needlessly gobbles up farm and forest land and open space. Sprawl, therefore, costs taxpayers money and depletes the resource base.”

Our thanks to LAFCO for calling the Price Canyon project what it is.

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