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Changes in Land Policy: How Fundamental are They?

The last 25 years have witnessed a fundamental change in state and local land policy, reflecting a revolutionary change in attitudes towards immigration and growth. Local governments used to compete to attract people, now it seems to exclude them In the battle of boosters versus knockers, the knockers have won going away.
We have had low density policies with us always, but in the past they were different. King George III, for example, wanted to reserve the lands west of the Appalachian crest for the Indians, but he really didn’t care about preserving their low density way of life. His idea was to keep English colonists in the East and under better control. Alexander Hamilton soon revived the same idea after the revolution and his expressed motive was to keep cheap labor in the east. In those days people wanted to have cheap labor around. George III’s containment policies lost out, as you know, to the revolutionaries and Hamilton’s containment policies lost out to the Jeffersonians. Since then there have been successive waves of both containment and expansion forces at work. The expansionists have always won out more than they lost —— until now. But our generation has seen the greatest proliferation of exclusionary selective and containing land policies ever to exist in North America. We see this in many ways and aspects which I will itemize.
Real Estate Issues, J. of the Am. Society of Real Estate Counselors, I(1):72-85 (Fall, 1976).

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