Stopping farmland from being developed into new homes comes at a cost

Wednesday , May 09, 2018 - 6:00 AM5 comments

In response to the May 3rd article, “Weber Co. leaders consider change to safeguard rural areas from urbanization,” let us not forget the wisdom of the 19th-century journalist Frederic Bastiat: every economic policy has an unseen consequence. While preserving Weber County’s agricultural heritage is a worthy goal, preventing farmland from being developed into new homes comes at a cost. That cost is higher housing prices for all of us.

Data from the federal government show that since 1991, Utah’s home prices have increased nearly 300 percent, the fourth most in the entire country. Every year for the last decade, Utah has had one of the fastest-growing populations. The majority of this growth is happening along the Wasatch Front. The problem we must face is, where will everyone live?

Unless we allow more housing to be built in Weber County, surging demand is only going to drive up prices further and make housing even less affordable. If Weber County is going to play a larger role in the booming Wasatch Front economy, we can’t let the best land remain farmland forever.

Ian Luria


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