A little plug for County Planner Phil Wheeler: He saw this coming years ago.
USA today on the changing makeup of communities: USA Today
This is part of the reason why many of the downtown or close in developments like Orchard Hills Villas, The Hamilton, Cascade Creek have been successful while places like Pebble Creek in distant sprawled out areas have been failures. It is also the reason Mac Hamilton’s new building and Metropolitan Market Place will be coming online (and there are more coming…)
From a policy standpoint I think it is crazy that we continue to heavily subsidize sprawl instead of make the users bear the full cost. I opposed the rate increases to the Sewer fund because that in and of itself was a $60 million development subsidy.
Young Millennials and older Baby Boomers are rejecting traditional suburban lifestyles in favor of urban living and shorter commutes. Many want to live near city centers so they can walk to work, shops and restaurants or take public transportation. They also prefer smaller homes because they’re single or have no kids and don’t want to spend their free me maintaining their homes.
“It’s the kids (ages 18 to 32), the empty nesters (Baby Boomers with no kids at home),” says Chris Leinberger, president of Smart Growth America’s LOCUS (Latin for “place”), a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who support urban developments that encourage walking over driving. “These two generations combined are more than half of the American population.”
The housing bust of the last five years hit hardest in subdivisions in remote suburbs, drying up financing for such development. At the same time, gas prices soared and so did environmental consciousness, giving consumers pause about living in distant suburbs away from services, jobs and entertainment.