Originally Posted by SDCAL
It's an opinion piece that leaves out a lot of complex reasons for differing regulation and planning styles across cities. I mean comparing Houston and SF? One has room to sprawl and the other is confined to a small peninsula. A lot of housing costs comes from desirability to live in certain places. Many more people would find coastal CA more desirable than humid, swampy Houston. That alone will make prices higher here. I just don't buy the notion that cities like SF could follow the "Houston model" and cure all their problems. Seems like a naive piece.
While I agree with you 100%, it's been proven that ~50% of housing costs in CA come from regulations. The rest, as you mentioned, likely comes from desirability and supply, etc. SF, even though is constrained by geographical realities, is still by and large zoned for the SFH, downtown excepted. It's interesting that both approaches (SF vs. Houston) *still* lead to sprawl, one being driven by high costs of development, and the other by cheap land. Maybe this tells us that no matter what, there will be demand for the typical suburban home but that we *should* be building much more density in key areas than we currently are. At least Houston makes this easier to do.