For many years, the State of Oregon and Metro have enforced laws compelling local governments to reduce the size of single-family lots and increase the percentage of multifamily housing. Many local governments and housing industry groups routinely say there isn’t enough demand for the housing types the state and Metro require, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Now a comprehensive survey jointly sponsored by Metro, local governments, and industry groups proves what the local governments and industry groups have been saying all along – the vast majority of people prefer a single-family house and the largest group wants a spacious yard as well.
The state and Metro frequently argue that higher densities are required for transportation efficiency and reduced commute times; however, the survey shows that commute times have very little effect on neighborhood choice.
The study has huge implications for the planning of new neighborhoods and urban growth boundary expansions. Currently, many laws severely restrict traditional low-density single family neighborhoods. Only time will tell whether they will loosen up and allow local governments to plan for, and industry groups to build, the single-family houses on roomy lots that families actually want.
Metro’s report is found at: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/news/innovative-study-examines-regions-housing-preferences
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