Penn Valley ‘urban infill’ |

Penn Valley ‘urban infill’

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposal on “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” The comment period ended Sept. 17, 2013. These land-use regulations give the agency power to dismantle local zoning.

Local governments will have to “take meaningful action to further the goals identified” of the right mix of economic, racial and ethnic diversity. Failure will result in a cut of Community Development Block Grants.

HUD has told Westchester County, N.Y., that any limits on the size, type, height and density of buildings are “restrictive practices.”

High density doesn’t make sense in Penn Valley. Too bad. “Restrictive practices” include limits on density even near reservoirs that supply drinking water.

Hope the courts will help? A federal judge dismissed Westchester County’s suit in August, saying that HUD’s ruling was written in a way that “excludes” it from judicial review. The suit is now before the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

California state legislation also limits rural and suburban development. We all need to live in high density housing along transportation corridors. This is another example of central planning from Washington that takes our freedoms away.

Lynn Lorenson

Nevada City

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