Local land use and growth controls have had a substantial negative impact on the San Francisco Bay Area housing market. These regulations have significantly diminished the availability of development opportunities in the region and forced builders to make major changes in the way they do business and costly alterations in their development projects. Both the empirical evidence reviewed and the case studies documented in this paper indicate that building moratoria, growth management systems, and restrictive zoning practices have helped lead to significantly increased house prices in those Bay Area communities in which they are present. The evidence strongly suggests that land use controls as they are currently utilized in the Bay Area provide a poor policy alternative for reconciling important environmental and fiscal considerations with equally important regional and national housing needs.
Journal of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association