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It’s a Balancing Act:

Development moratoriums – unintended consequences.


Some time ago while living in Denver I witnessed a development moratorium put in place by Boulder, Colorado. There was a development boom going on and studies showed there was strong demand for additional development.

The local county government was anti-growth. They were concerned about services, congestion, parking, …

After the moratorium was put in place, within the county limits of Boulder site sales and new development projects came to a screeching halt. Just outside the county though, the development boom continued. When flying over Boulder on approach to the Denver airport one could easily discern the county limits by the development projects underway just outside the line.

In the end, the county encounter nearly all the problems they were trying to avoid; however, they missed out on the benefit of the increased tax base parked just outside their city limits. Additionally, Boulder lost control of its ability to shape the quality of the projects that were developed.