WHY DO COMMUNITIES MOBILIZE AGAINST GROWTH: GROWTH PRESSURES, COMMUNITY STATUS, METROPOLITAN HIERARCHY, OR STRATEGIC INTERACTION?
Findings from this study challenge the conventional wisdom about the motivations for local growth control. Using data of California ballot box growth controls merged with city level demographic and housing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, logit models are estimated to test four hypotheses for why communities mobilize against growth. Of the four hypotheses, growth pressures, community status, metropolitan hierarchy, and strategic interaction, the only hypothesis that was strongly supported by the logistic regression analyses was strategic interaction. Support for the strategic interaction hypothesis reveals that jurisdictions located in regions where growth control policies are more abundant have a higher probability of mobilizing against growth. In other words, jurisdictions' growth control policies influence the growth decisions made by neighboring jurisdictions within the same region. One of the most surprising findings in the logistic regression analyses is that low-income suburbs are significantly more likely to mobilize against growth than high-income suburbs. These results refute the commonly held belief that growth control is strictly a concern of elite communities and suggest that residents of low-income suburbs may be turning to the ballot box to control growth because their communities are the locations of choice for noxious land uses.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Publication date: 2009-02-01