Gold Canyon, Arizona - Urban Sprawl - Local Sprawl

2016 Las Vegas retains title of underwater homes capital
Badlands golf course development in Las Vegas leads to ....
Golf courses saturated the market - especially those that were used by developers to sell homes.
"It's sad to see the cleared wash and difficult to listen to the machines every day."
Tucson city manager proposes sales-tax hike for infrastructure

2014 Sprawled Out in Atlanta
What happens when poverty spreads to a place that wasnít built for poor people?

2011 Sprawling From Grace: The Consequences of Suburbanization on - Transcript on YouTube

Haphazard growth or extension outward, especially that resulting from real estate development on the outskirts of a city: urban sprawl.
"Development is going on at an insane pace. With all of these buildings, you need more police, more fire rescue, more hospitals, more schools, more infrastructure. And that has not been part of the plan. We have to keep all of this in mind. If development doesn't help, it destroys." -

"When you think about it, really, we have a terrible planning process in this city....
We don't manage growth at all."
- 2004 Tucson
the issues - environmental and economic -- 1999
  • impact of traffic on air quality standards
  • threat to water quality and acquifers
  • mismanagement of stormwater and sewage
  • reduction of wildlife habitat
  • loss of open space and unique natural areas
  • homogenization of rural landscapes
  • expense of costly new infrastructure
  • deterioration of historic commerical centers
  • overdependence on the automobile and superhighways

... several local governments and school districts
were asking voters to raise taxes and fees for libraries, police and fire services, classrooms and other improvements.
Among them was the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was trying to pass a $3.8 billion school-construction bond. In San Diego County, voters were being asked to limit development in the backcountry to prevent urban sprawl. -- 2004
Banks are seeing an untapped resource in providing home loans to undocumented U.S. residents -- 2005
'Senate telephone system has shut down and crashed because of overwhelming public feedback.' -- 2007
Arizona employer sanctions law -- 2008
FDIC: Failed Bank List grows -- 2008
Where did the Mortgage brokers go? -- 2009
'either sell the half finished houses, finish them completely or tear them down.' -- 2010

Stopping Sprawl in Your Community
"Driven to Action encourages communities to reshape urban areas. We need more dense and compact cities, with better bike paths and pedestrian friendly walkways."

Residential Construction
Residential Construction -- Mortgage Investment

Greenspan says housing boom 'over' but sees stable prices

The slowdown "is the first downturn in the forty years since we entered the business that was not precipitated by high interest rates, a weak economy, job losses or other macroeconomic factors," Toll said in his statement. - 2006
Exurb growth challenges U.S. cities - 2005
Urban centers feel the pinch as people move beyond the 'burbs

"exurbia" -- places just beyond the suburbs where the country looks like country again, beyond the limits of most studies of urban growth.


"psychology of denial"

Vibrant to Vacant series

Part I: Foreclosures drain community
Part II: Queen Creek foreclosed?
Part III: Foreclosures stall growth

AARP Publishes its List of the 15 Best Places to Retire
10 criteria reflecting the needs, interests, and tastes of Americans age 50 and older were utilized including 'culture and entertainment', 'safety - personal and property safety', 'sense of community', 'ease of getting around', and 'proximity to comprehensive, well-regarded health care facilities'.

Public Affairs Television - NOW with Bill Moyers
The Last Frontier: The Future of the Florida Panhandle - 2003
NOW examines the political influence of the Florida developer and looks at how the company's plans for roads and a new airport may leave taxpayers footing the bill.
"The corporation that owns much of this land is called the Saint Joe Company. It's named after one of the few towns down here. Now it wants to use its political muscle to build new ones ó to transform the region ó and it wants taxpayers to help pay for it....
Florida has a grand history of accommodating developers who can't get their suckers to a particular area to buy land. We'll just build 'em a road."
Florida's Hometown Democracy Amendment
"Putting the PEOPLE back in charge of the places where they live!"

Review the recent 'urban sprawl' news at
Good News
GA Campaign Pushes Atlanta to Walk, Not Drive - "The average Atlantan takes more than three car trips a day. Metro Atlanta's 3.6 million residents drive an average of 35 miles each day."
Developers Sue Fort Lauderdale - "City officials have said that the site plan did not conform to city building codes, pointing to the length and height of buildings, as well as some setbacks."
U.S. Military Is Fighting Urban Sprawl - "Military bases throughout the country, many of which were once located in isolated areas, now find themselves enveloped by the inexorable spread of suburbs whose residents then complain about noise from planes or artillery, dust, and danger of accidents."
CA - Oakland Bans Wal-Mart Style Superstores - "...banned mega-stores like Wal-Mart super centers from opening there, saying they would threaten smaller stores and depress wages."
CA - South County Greenbelt Envisioned - "Galt and Elk Grove officials talk of preserving thousands of acres."
Houston, TX - Planners Seek Pedestrian-Friendly Growth - "Amid election-season politics and opposition from the real estate industry, city officials are poised to debate a measure that would empower civic groups to set development guidelines for certain parts of Houston."
Las Vegas, NV - City Has Atypical Vision for Land - "It will tap alternative energy sources to power homes and vehicles. Schools, jobs, stores and parks will be within walking distance. One-third to one-half of the land will be left open. There will be none of Las Vegas' trademark cinder block fences walling off residences and no gated communities. The city should look at vacant areas closer to downtown that would required shorter commutes...."
Smart Growth on UT Rural Agendas - "commit to providing affordable housing, preserving open space and creating economic and infrastructure plans that put a premium on quality of life"
Fees' Impact Not So Negative - "Study (67 counties of Florida) shows economic benefit of add-ons that builders hate"
GA - Palmetto Puts Brakes on Subdivision Boom - "The City Council has placed a moratorium on residential development, blaming sewer capacity."
Santa Fe, NM - Impact-Fee Proposal Needs Careful Advocacy - "For years, local government took its sweet time assessing new subdivisions, shopping centers and other "progress.' Over the years, that neglect led to unduly heavy burdens on people whose medium-sized town turned into Sun Belt sprawl - with its expensive stretches of public-service lines, pavement, police/fire protection and all the rest."
Miami, FL - Plan for America's new diet: Less sprawl, less fat, less frenzy - "When researchers from Rutgers University and the Centers for Disease Control recently analyzed development, transportation and health data, they found a link between urban sprawl and obesity."
Cleveland, OH - Church, State Find Common Opponent In Urban Sprawl - "How many farms and local forests can we lose before we lose a part of ourselves?"
Garden a 'Noah's Ark' for U.S. plants - "Native American plants by the hundreds are close to extinction because of a decades-long process of suburban sprawl, loss or alteration of habitat, and a wave of invasive species, which quite literally smother the natives into oblivion."
Florida's First 'Green Development' Earns Certification -
"The Bonita Bay Group team preserved wildlife habitat, restored historic flow ways and created a protective conservation easement along the community's 1.75-mile stretch of riverfront. Nearly 65 percent of the property will be open space, including natural preserve areas, parks, wetlands, lakes, golf course and more than nine miles of walkways and fitness trails."
CA - Clearing A Path To Survival - "We're going back and reversing 100 years of degradation."
Tucson, AZ - No Freeways On Washes -
"Promoting urban infill so people donít need to drive so far will not only reduce the need for freeways, but will cause people to spend less time on the road....The time has come, however, to look at solutions that will bring results unlike Los Angeles and Phoenix."
Las Vegas, NV - HALTING DEVELOPMENT: Red Rock Proposal Unveiled -
"...use tens of millions of dollars from the sale of public lands to buy and rehabilitate scarred mining property next to scenic Red Rock Canyon and prevent the area from ever being developed....A lot of us feel ouchy about Rhodes buying the land, and we would hate to see him milk the public for more than it's worth...."
Ottawa Canada - Ottawa Council Ready For Legal Fight -
"The plan, which was approved by a 19-2 margin at an all-day council meeting, promises to revolutionize the way Ottawans live. It has been dubbed the blueprint for building the city over the next two decades,"
NM - Land authority shifts from Albuquerque to Bernalillo County -
"The people in the extraterritorial zone have had no say."
Death by Sprawl -
"On a statistical basis, what's most likely to get you killed in the next year: (A) living in Israel during the Intifada; (B) living in crime-ridden, inner-city Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh; or (C) living in the bucolic outer suburbs of those cities? The answer is overwhelmingly C. ... Sprawl also leads to high levels of social isolation, which has its own public-health implications.
NJ - Anti-Sprawl Map Becoming A Blueprint For Revolt -
Northern, southern Jersey counties, long at odds, unite to fight land plan
San Francisco CA - Transformation Of South Bay Salt Ponds Into Natural Tidal Marshes Is Part Of A Habitat Restoration Of Grand Scope -
With 8 million people encroaching on the bay -- and 3 million in the South Bay -- the room for restoration is narrow and fragmented.
CA - They Put Birds On Par With Birdies -
golfers peacefully coexist with the hawks, quail and magpies that live a club's-length away in patches of environmentally sensitive oak woodlands and riparian habitats.
San Diego, CA 280-Home Project Rejected; Endangered Toad Cited -
The wildlife service proposed a plan .... The developer did not accept the alternative.
More Americans Want To Walk, But It's Not That Easy -
Americans might have an enduring love affair with the automobile, but the idea of walking is becoming more attractive as gridlock grows and waistlines expand
Nevada Red Rock Restrictions -
A Clark County Commissioner wants to enact a law immediately that would restrict development near a scenic recreation area. James said he decided to push for new zoning controls after facing off Thursday with about 100 anxious residents of the nearby village of Blue Diamond, who for the second time since August are battling a developer they believe wants to put thousands of homes on 2,400 acres that border Red Rock.
VA County To Keep Chancellorsville Battlefield Intact -
Spotsylvania County supervisors early yesterday morning (Mar.27) overwhelmingly rejected plans to build a massive development on the site of the Chancellorsville Civil War battlefield.
Homestead, FL Gives Builders a Cold Shoulder -
While the officials welcome the prospect of middle-class home buyers returning to Homestead, they worry about the potential effects of a flood of new residents crowding schools and overwhelming services.
Elk Grove, CA Seeks Path Less Traveled -
With a couple of big new housing sites on tap, advocates say the next few years of building -- when thousands of houses will spring up from open fields -- may be Elk Grove's last chance for an interconnected, citywide trail system paid for by development.
Great Swaths of Vacant Land Still Exist on the Salt Lake Valley's West Side. -
South Jordan and other cities are listening to Envision Utah's ideas on creating pedestrian-friendly, walkable communities with an emphasis on open space.
NJ - Stem Sprawl With Incentives -
"We must stop subsidizing sprawl. We must focus on redevelopment,..." Governor
Oakland Taking Steps for Smart Growth -
"Three years in the making, the Regional Livability Footprint Project calls for higher density housing in cities, fewer homes on the urban fringe, revitalized downtowns and development along transit corridors."
Florida Democratic Candidate for Governor McBride: Control Growth To Shield Environment -
"We've got to get a handle on our growth ... everything ties back to growth,'' McBride said, arguing that species protection, water and air purity, and quality of life are endangered by the failure to use ``smart growth'' approaches."
Shaping a Better Future: - California Smart Growth "The public is clamoring for solutions to traffic and housing problems, and for ways to improve their quality of life. All of us have a responsibility to help turn the tide," - A set of recommendations to improve the economic and social well-being of California's communities through better growth patterns has been released by a diverse public-private coalition organized by the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Washington's King County Leads in Fighting Sprawl -
"If the counties, and the cities within them, choose to accommodate the region's next million residents the same way they added the last million, greater Seattle-Tacoma's growing network of roads will fill with even more traffic while rural lands, farm fields and open space will continue to turn into sprawling neighborhoods," the report concluded.
More Articles/Publications
Washington's King County Buys Development Rights on Tract, Saving Forest

"It was our goal not to encourage or allow sprawl to continue,"

Urban Villages Sprout Near Metro Stations
Across the country, as communities from Portland to Boston look for alternatives to sprawling suburbs, planners say Arlington is setting a standard.
"We have 95 percent of our development on 5 percent of our land," said County Board member Jay Fisette (D). "If that's not a good way of developing, I don't know what is."
Where frayed auto repair shops, used car lots, strip malls and big-box stores once lined the streets, the modern trappings of urban development now stand: apartment complexes with shops and restaurants on the ground floor, office buildings and an array of trendy chain stores. The corridor hit another milestone with the recent addition of Market Common, an apartment, restaurant and shopping palace in Clarendon.
A Move to Protect Wild Salmon Disappoints Property-Rights Advocates

"the Endangered Species Act protects species in their natural ecosystem,"

Madera, CA Farmers' $4.6 Million Deal -- Land Near Town Saved From Any Development

Local Sprawl - One development has 1659 similar houses

Urban Sprawl: the Big Picture
Earth-orbiting satellites are collecting valuable data that
reveal the environmental impact of fast-growing cities.

North Las Vegas Crisis Shows Fragility of Nevada Economy

Texas School Districts' Enrollments Soar
Suburban voters face endless array of bond issues in a bid to keep pace

2007 - High-density, mixed-use trend takes root in Houston
In a city known for suburban sprawl, competing developers are testing a different concept: master-planned, high-density projects combining residential, retail, offices and hotels.

While these trendy developments, where people can walk from their homes to shops, restaurants and even their workplaces, have taken root in other parts of the country, they've been slow to show up here.

Texas' Montgomery County No. 1 In Suburban Traffic Deaths, Speeding Tickets
"People choose to live 30, 40, even 50 miles from where they work. When they leave the house, they expect to be at work 30 to 45 minutes later. That's just not realistic."
"The section between Texas 6 and Loop 610 has been much more controversial. It is to be the widest part, requiring more land, including property occupied by office towers, restaurants, stores, parking lots and a few houses along the sprawl-ridden corridor."
& the cancer of the 90's continues
Look Out, Vermont -- Here Comes Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart's Big City Blues


If Willowlake subdivision residents get a 3 a.m. hankering for a $1.97 gallon of Hawaiian Punch or want to stock up on 10 pairs of socks for $6.97, they have three Wal-Mart stores to choose from within five miles of their homes. A Wal-Mart-owned Sam's Club also is nearby.

Some of them have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart, though, now that the company is proposing an invasion of their neighborhood.

In a metropolitan area notorious for its lack of zoning, the residents have little means of stopping the store.

... concerned that the Wal-Mart will endanger children at the elementary school across the street, inundate the area with traffic and litter and spur flooding because of overdevelopment.

"They want it all," said Bill Quinn, a Fort Worth author who wrote How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America and the World.

Quinn said Wal-Marts force "mom-and-pop" stores out of business, have their products made for "starvation wages" in foreign countries and ruin neighborhoods with increased crime, litter, traffic and light pollution.

"Once they get in, it's like a bad disease," he said. "It's a cancer on the community."

Suburban Sprawl Helps U.S. Waistlines Spread
Communities' Planning Unfriendly To Pedestrians - "...faced with an epidemic of obesity, health and policy officials, planners and advocates are looking at ways to reintroduce Americans to the lost art of walking down the street."

Suburban Sprawl Blamed For Drought
Philadelphia PA - A Steep Price For Loss Of Trees
Development has taken 6% of the region's tree canopy, a study says. The loss is set at $100 million, not counting damage to the environment.

Atlanta's sprawl

Opposition Mounts Against Measure to Protect North GA Foothills
"Commissioners in north Georgia's White County will consider a sweeping ordinance designed to protect the region's mountains from rampant development, the first of its kind in Georgia."

Flood Plains Changing in Fast-Growing Counties
"Many Georgia homeowners have learned the hard way in recent weeks that their property is not as safe from flooding as they once believed."

Sewer Deadlock Scary For Builders
"Nervous would be an understatement...."

Sewer Debacle Could Kill Golden Goose: Development
" U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. explained to city officials recently, he could impose a moratorium on water and sewer hookups, effectively killing development."

Sewer Fee Fight Likely In Atlanta
"The reality of paying for Atlanta's $3 billion sewer overhaul is about to become painfully clear."

Water War Now Headed to Federal Courts
"Judges apparently will have to decide squabble and proper shares for Georgia, Alabama, Florida."
2009 - Judge Rules Against Georgia in Regional Water Fight

Bad Air List May Add 10 Counties
"The counties on the state's list were recommended in 2000, but the EPA never acted...."

GA - Tourists, Developers Set Off Alarms Over N. Ga. River
"The habitat conservation plan could make developers limit construction or cluster buildings to leave more land undisturbed." ... "Sediment runs from newly scraped lots. Automotive fluids seep from new driveways. Bacteria and chemicals leak from septic systems. More and more treated wastewater gets dumped into the river. Fertilizers and pesticides from lawns and golf courses leech into the river. Rain rushes across new roads and parking lots, causing little flash floods that scour endangered fish...."

Cherokee Boom Towns of Canton, Woodstock Scramble to Cope With Growth
"Fire, police and sewer improvements are under way."

American Rivers Group Says Tallapoosa River Endangered
"The governors of Georgia, Alabama and Florida began meeting face-to-face on water allocation issues this year."

Sewer Delay Rocks Residents Night, Day
"The city now faces daily fines as high as $700,000, so construction crews are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Pine Hills area and will do so until July."

GA Statewide Water Use Restricted For Good
"This is the first time Georgia has imposed outdoor watering restrictions when there's not a drought. State officials have said the purpose is to conserve water, in part to allow for more growth and in part to better protect the resource."

Real Estate Scams Spreading, Georgia Attorney General Warns

'For Sale' Signs Sprout in Angry Neighborhood
"Fed up with the builder in their partially completed neighborhood, residents of Brooks Crossing (Georgia) brandished one of the most feared weapons in suburban warfare -- the "For Sale" sign."

"When we have a problem, we call DeKalb County, they say, 'You're city of Atlanta,'
and we say, 'No we're not,' and then they say, 'We've never heard of you,...' "

Home Buyers Beware

In Georgia, rules unenforced and contractors unlicensed

New Home Woes Can be Avoided

Group Says NAACP Must be Aware of the Impact of Urban Sprawl on Blacks
Sociologist preaches 'smart growth' - For a civil rights organization steeped in the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks and the legal advocacy of Thurgood Marshall, the scholarly field of urban design might seem an unlikely new battleground.

Tulsa is Both a Prime Example of and Victim of Urban Sprawl.
CA Treasure Island Project Expected To Go To Mayor's Cronies
Stretching the boundaries - Land hunt expands beyond the Las Vegas Valley
Online Info

With over 1,500,000 web pages available on the topic of urban sprawl - it is difficult to understand the new conclusions that only wildlife suffers from wide spread urban development.

our example

  • an unincorporated area
  • 5 golf courses & windowless trailers for the school kids
  • 7 miles from adjacent city's 'downtown' area
  • 35 miles east of Phoenix
  • 65 miles from Luke AFB (west side of The Valley of the Sun) with 85+ Walgreens in between

Old timers say - 'paradise lost!'
New comers say - 'paradise found!'
Others see a new kind of ghost town.

  • asphalt & concrete
  • air conditioning & automobiles
  • our 'free market' and
  • 'individual property rights'
we have been able to 'develop/destroy' even this harsh desert region.

Private Property Rights And Public Use: Finding The Balance

To What Extent and in What Ways Should Governmental Bodies Regulate Urban Planning?

local sprawl


Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took over America, and How We Can Take It Back

Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

There Goes the Neighborhood, Protecting Your Home and Community From Poor Development Choices

The Ecology of Place: Planning for Environment, Economy, and Community

The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape

The Limitless City: A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate

Nature in Fragments: The Legacy of Sprawl (American Museum of Natural History Series on Biodiversity)

The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream

Once There Were Greenfields: How Urban Sprawl Is Undermining Americas's Environment, Economy, and Social Fabric

Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West

Solving Sprawl: Models of Smart Growth in Communities Across America

Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!

Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

When City and Country Collide: Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe

"Phoenix has yet to cope with problems created by its unrestricted growth over the last decades. Congestion, a fragile water supply and an increasing number of "unhealthy air" days plague the city. Like most of America, it is hard-pressed to pay for the maintenance of its tentacle-like network of roads." - from

online information

What is Smart Growth?
2005 Urban Mobility Study
The mobility provided by the nation's transportation system is the subject of discussion everyday. The 2005 Urban Mobility Report, provides data on the performance of some elements of the transportation system in 85 urban areas.

local sprawl

National Geographic Feature
July 2001 Urban Sprawl Feature
April 2002 "Green-Based" Urban Growth

Helpful links for 'planners' - - Planning Education at a Distance