I made a few Excel charts from the results of the Muhlenberg/Morning Call’s Annual Quality of Life survey that I’ll be posting over the next few days.
Here’s the open space question. A political gold mine awaits anyone who wants to run against sprawl in the municipal elections :
A combined 81% are either concerned (44%) or somewhat concerned (37%) with the loss of open space.
To fix the problem, voters need to be looking for two things: in the borough and township elections, the ideal candidate is someone who wants to vote against building anything in areas that aren’t already developed. This person wants everything that is now farmland or forest to stay that way.
In the cities, the ideal candidate is someone who wants to increase density in and around the central business district.
If you’re going to stop development of the “open space” areas, that amounts to a significant downzoning. That makes the already-developed land more expensive, so you have to balance the “zoning budget” by upzoning elsewhere – ideally in the core cities.