Despite its lack of popularity, well-planned suburban development is a wise move for Sacramento County. Sure, a lot of people prefer living in the city. I did when young and single, and there will always be developers who will design and build for that segment of the market. The overwhelming majority of potential home buyers, however, want to buy in the suburbs.
The development community, as a private enterprise, has to develop housing which the public wants to spend money on. For several generations now, that has been suburban housing. The supervisors acted responsibly by approving well-planned suburban developments. In a private business enterprise society, part of government’s role is to work with, while providing oversight for, private business enterprises like the development community.
The suburban choice is also reflected in figures from the Sept. 30 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The survey revealed an increasing number of commuters prefer to travel alone in their own cars, even after all the discussion and exhortation to use any form of transportation other than driving alone.
The survey reports that Americans are much happier doing just that and the rates for mass transit use – bicycling, carpooling, etc. – are either dropping or standing still. In 2012, about 76 percent of workers 16 years and older commuted alone in their own cars, which was just a bit lower than the record high in 2005 of 77 percent.
The essence of successful private enterprise is giving the customer what they want. Though our country has many public government programs, such as social security, which are deeply loved, we are still essentially built on private enterprise.
That is part of our strength as a country – encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and, in the process, attracting the best, the brightest and the hardest workers from throughout the world to our shores and valleys.
In our region, which is overwhelmingly suburban—especially bordering our most treasured natural asset, the American River Parkway—the decisions by local leadership to encourage the building of housing communities that are most desired by home buyers are sound. The development will contribute to regional growth and prosperity, while keeping the environmental impacts in line with the continued health and well-being of residents.
David H. Lukenbill is the Founder of American River Parkway Preservation Society