Sprawl consists of commercial and residential development in areas
not contiguous with existing urban areas. Sprawl causes a variety of harmful
Loss of valuable agricultural lands.
Conversion of agricultural and rural lands to uses inconsistent with their
current designation drives out traditional land uses. Rising tax assessments
force farmers and ranchers to give up their lands even if they would prefer
to continue using them for traditional uses.
Loss of crucial wildlife habitats. Commercial and residential uses cause
blockage and fragmentation of crucial habitats and corridors for our endangered
wildlife. *See images of road encroachment
The EPA has identified urban runoff as the principal source of contamination
to inland and coastal waters in most urban areas. Paving over ever more
watersheds will exacerbate the problem by adding new sources of pollution,
and removing natural filtration mechanisms. Already, we suffer beach closures
due to contamination everytime it rains.
Sprawling development causes increased automotive traffic and air pollution.
Sprawling development drains public infrastructure resources from our
urban centers, harming services in our cities.
Residents of far-flung bedroom communities commute to the urban centers
and use these services, but don't pay for them.
Sprawl doesn't provide affordable housing. Our region is projected to
grow by several million inhabitants in the next thirty years. Projections
by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) indicate that even
under conditions of total buildout in our rural areas, these lands would
not support more than 100,000 additional people, due to current subdivision
sizes in these outlying areas and the expense of building there. Such
sprawl would lead only to very expensive housing for the privileged few,
while all of us would suffer the ill effects described.
We are still far from exhausting space for commercial and residential
developments in areas already designated for such uses. We don't need
to sacrifice our valuable rural resources.