Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2014

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Letter: Pizza Group’s growth findings are a breath of fresh air

The County Commission has repeatedly told us that low-density urban sprawl is the best way to manage growth in the valley, and that the much-touted "Pizza Group" represents an appropriate level of intergovernmental cooperation on planning issues.

A fine example of the smug, complacent attitude the commission has taken on growth issues is the high-profile editorial published last summer by Yvonne Atkinson Gates, criticizing the "Ring Around the Valley" proposal on the grounds that it would force higher density development.

These attitudes were soundly debunked when the Advisory Services Panel of the Urban Land Institute presented its preliminary findings Oct. 24. It bore out what has been obvious to many of us all along, that a very high level of formal cooperation, coupled with higher density, more efficient land-use policies, is essential if we are to successfully manage the phenomenal growth we are experiencing. The panel's report was a breath of fresh air in a debate that so far has been characterized by condescension and even hostility on the part of our elected officials. We hope its recommendations are taken to heart and acted upon swiftly and comprehensively.

Creative, sustainable growth management can ensure that our city will be a safe, clean, affordable and rewarding place to live for generations to come. We have a wonderful opportunity before us. Let's not squander it with an obsessive devotion to the status quo.

James Quinn, Outreach coordinator, Citizen Alert

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