Judge Orders More Suburban Housing

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Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch has ordered the suburban East Bay city of Pleasanton to build more housing, in a move that promises to worsen suburban sprawl. According to the CoCo Times and the Chron, Roesch ruled that a 1990s era voter initiative that capped the number of homes in Pleasanton violates a state law that requires cities to meet their share of regional housing needs. Pleasanton has added tens of thousands of jobs in the past decade, but very few homes.

Ironically, the judge’s ruling came in response to a suit filed by an environmental justice organization against a voter initiative that had been originally backed by environmentalists who sought to curb suburban sprawl. The case itself also highlights the disconnect between state and regional housing rules that require suburbs to build more housing and the fight against climate change, which seeks to spur growth in urban areas and limit it in the suburbs.

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