1. Former Michigan Governor William Milliken, quoted in George Weeks, "Urban Sprawl Threatens Michigan's Farmlands," The Detroit News, December 16, 1997.

  2. Chris Golembiewski, "Space Worries Have Communities Working to Plan Orderly Growth," Lansing State Journal, July 7, 1997.

  3. Chris Golembiewski, "Sprawl Squeezes Tri-County," Lansing State Journal, July 6, 1997.

  4. Lynn Waldsmith, "Washtenaw Residents Split on Tax to Preserve Farmland," The Detroit News, July 13, 1997.

  5. Lewis Mumford, The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., 1961), pp. 487-93.

  6. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 1990), p. 1141.

  7. Holly Madill, "Is Urban Sprawl Good for the State? No." The Detroit News, March 15, 1998. This is also the definition used in Weeks, "Urban Sprawl Threatens Michigan's Farmlands," n 1 supra.

  8. For a comprehensive analysis of how markets "order" urban and regional economies, see J. Vernon Henderson, Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). In the land market, land and building prices coordinate these decisions and provide developers and consumers with information about the relative costs of supplying homes, office buildings, and factories. Take the following example from a real case: A developer proposed building a 26-unit housing development with average home prices of $300,000 to $500,000. After two years, only 10 lots had been sold. The houses that had been built were on the market for unexpectedly (unprofitably) long periods. So the developer changed the design of the development. The new lots and homes will be designed for the $150,000 to $250,000 range and targeted toward empty nesters. The market sent a clear message to the developer about what consumers wanted and were willing to pay for. He used this information to redesign his project to meet what consumers wanted. The land market imposed "order" on the desires of the developer-and, in this case, the local planning board-through the profit and loss system of the land market. For technical and nontechnical overviews of how land markets function, see any standard urban economics textbook such as John F. McDonald, Fundamentals of Urban Economics (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc. 1997) or John P. Blair, Local Economic Development (Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1995).

  9. Concern over urban sprawl and the preservation of farmland has spurred efforts to reign in real estate markets in more than a dozen states, including California, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, and Maine. Oregon and Florida imposed statewide growth controls using top-down growth management programs in their attempts to control development. Other states, most notably Maryland, have adopted more market-based approaches to development. Even cities have entered the game: San Jose imposed an urban growth boundary to protect farmland in its eastern foothills and the southernmost reaches of its city limits.

  10. Data on county population and land use are taken from County Agricultural Statistics, 1996 (Lansing, Michigan: Michigan Agricultural Statistics Service, January 1997).

  11. Note that these data exclude rural counties and overestimate the actual amount of urbanized, or "built-up," land because the data from the Michigan Agricultural Statistics Services (MASS) do not include a category for "urban." MASS groups urbanized land into an "other" category, which includes other types of land such as brownfields, roads, parks, etc.

  12. Almost half of all building permits, 49.5%, were issued in counties transitioning from agricultural to urban and suburban uses. Central city counties issued less than one quarter of all building permits in Michigan. Thus, not only were collar counties adding people, but growth was also evident through residential and commercial construction. U. S. Bureau of the Census, County and City Data Book: 1994.

  13. Defined by the U. S. Bureau of the Census as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The Census Bureau classifies counties based on commuting patterns of residents. Central cities are large urban centers that dominate a region. Cities or urbanized areas must have at least 50,000 people to qualify as a central city. A metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000. If these two criteria are met, the city and county will be classified as a Metropolitan Area, or MA. Thus, the city of Saginaw has a population of about 70,000 and Saginaw County has a population over 210,000, allowing it to qualify as one of Michigan's eight metropolitan areas. See U. S. Department of Commerce, Geographic Areas Reference Manual (Washington, D. C.: Bureau of the Census, November 1994), Chapter 12.

  14. County Agricultural Statistics, 1996, n 10 supra.

  15. Ibid.

  16. See the technical notes in Ibid., p. i.

  17. U. S. Department of Commerce, Geographic Areas Reference Manual, Chapter 12.

  18. This study classified Michigan counties based on whether they are central city (urban), collar, or rural (see Appendix B on page 57). Urban counties consist of a central city as defined by the U. S. Bureau of the Census. Collar counties are in Census-defined metropolitan areas but do not include central cities. Rural counties are all counties outside of metropolitan areas. Thus, Grand Traverse County, home to Traverse City, would be classified as a rural county. The rural classification implies that the county is not the center of a significant population and employment center for the state.

  19. County Agricultural Statistics, 1996, n 10 supra.

  20. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97 (Washington, D. C.: Economic Research Service, July 1997) p. 11.

  21. The task force reported that more than 854,000 acres of farmland were converted to other uses during this period, or "10 acres an hour" and a land mass "equivalent to a tract of land larger than Rhode Island." Michigan Farmland and Agricultural Development Task Force, Policy Recommendations and Options for the Future Growth of Michigan Agriculture, Lansing, Michigan, December 1994, p. 4.

  22. Peter Mieszkowski and Edwin C. Mills, "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives 7, no. 3, September 1993, pp. 135-47. (www.urbanfutures.org/j55971.html)

  23. Marlow Vesterby and Ralph Heimlich, "Land Use and Demographic Change: Results from Fast-Growth Counties," Land Economics 67, no. 3, August 1991, p. 289. (www.urbanfutures.org/j514972.html)

  24. Summary Report: 1992 National Resources Inventory (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service). Cited in The American Almanac 1996-1997 (Statistical Abstract of the United States) (Austin, Texas: Hoover's, Inc., 1996), table 365.

  25. This estimate is consistent with the county data discussed earlier.

  26. County Agricultural Statistics, 1996, n 10 supra. Michigan's estimate seems to contradict the U. S. Department of Agriculture data. A breakdown of the data by county, however, reveals that only about 10% of the state's land is in urbanized areas.

  27. Michigan Agricultural Statistics, 1996-97 (Lansing, Michigan: Michigan Agricultural Statistics Service, no date), table 1-2, p. 36.

  28. Annualized and projected over the decade, this translates into a 5.3% decline in farms.

  29. Note that this implies Michigan would lose farmland at increasing rates. Since the base acreage declines as land is converted to other uses, a 2.7 million acre loss each decade would represent a 21.1% loss in the 1970s, a 27.0% loss in the 1980s, a 37% loss in the 1990s, etc.

  30. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Major Land Uses, 1992 (Washington, D. C.: Economic Research Service, September 1995), computer database on diskette.

  31. County Agricultural Statistics, 1996, n 10 supra.

  32. In fact, acreage in Michigan's rural parks increased from 365,000 acres in 1945 to 1,425,000 acres in 1992. Michigan added 580,000 acres to rural parks and wildlife areas from 1982 to 1992. Major Land Uses, 1992, n 30 supra, table 1. See also the analysis in "Land Resources," Special Report 80, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, Michigan State University, January 1995, pp. 7-8.

  33. Vesterby and Heimlich, n 23 supra, p. 283.

  34. Public Act 233.

  35. Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97, n 20 supra, p. 42. See also Section 1540(c)(1)(A) of Michigan's Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1980.

  36. Ibid., p. 42.

  37. Ibid., p. 13.

  38. Ibid., figure 1.1.6, p. 15.

  39. Ibid., pp. 42,4.

  40. "Land Resources," n 32 supra, p. 15.

  41. Ibid.

  42. Michigan Agricultural Statistics, 1996-97, n 27 supra, table 1-4, p. 37.

  43. Ibid.

  44. U. S. Department of Labor data on producer price indexes reported in The American Almanac 1996-97, n 24 supra, table 752, p. 493.

  45. The world's average grain yield was 1.1 tons per hectare in 1950 and 2.8 tons per hectare in 1992. Dennis Avery, "Saving the Planet with Pesticides: Increasing Food Supplies while Preserving the Earth's Biodiversity," in The True State of the Planet, ed. Ronald Bailey (New York: The Free Press, 1995), p. 57.

  46. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Monthly. Cited in The American Almanac, n 24 supra, table 1098, p. 672.

  47. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States, January and February issues. In 1994, the U. S. exported $45.7 billion worth of agricultural products, a 10.9% increase since 1980. The total value of U. S. exports fell from 1980 to 1986 to $26.2 billion, then increased steadily. The value of U. S. exports surpassed 1980 levels in 1992. These data are not adjusted for inflation. Food prices increased by 71% from 1980 to 1995, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. In contrast, the Consumer Price Index for all items increased by 85% during this period. Since prices for food were not increasing as fast as other items-most notably housing and medical care-food was cheap relative to other products. By contrast, wages, salaries, and benefits increased by 154% during this same period.

  48. Farm national income increased from $37.3 billion in 1980 to $60.8 billion in 1994, after adjusting for inflation. See The American Almanac, n 24 supra, table 1086, p. 666.

  49. Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97, n 20 supra, p. 13.

  50. Ibid., p. 20.

  51. An excellent summary of this effect can be found in Tara Ellman, "Infill: The Cure for Sprawl?" Arizona Issue Analysis 146 (Phoenix, Arizona: Goldwater Institute, August, 1997), pp. 7-9. (www.urbanfutures.org/p82897.html)

  52. Farmland Information Center, Cost of Community Services Studies Fact Sheet (Washington, D. C.: American Farmland Trust, no date).

  53. This is acknowledged to a degree by the authors of such studies. One report by the American Farmland Trust, for example, provides the following disclaimer: "COCS studies are not predictive and do not judge the overall public good or long-term merits of any land use or taxing structure." See Julia Freedgood, Farmland Pays its Way: A Review of Cost of Community Services Studies (Washington, D. C.: American Farmland Trust, no date).

  54. Cost of Community Services Studies Fact Sheet, n 52 supra. The states and the number of studies in each state were Connecticut (5), Maine (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (8), Minnesota (3), New York (11), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (3), Rhode Island (3), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1).

  55. Ibid.

  56. Ibid.

  57. Ibid.

  58. Ibid.

  59. Ibid.

  60. Christopher A. Arend, Laura Priedeman Crane, et al. Southeast Michigan Agricultural Land Preservation Project (Ann Arbor: School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, April 1996).

  61. Laura Crane, Michelle Manion, and Karl Spiecher, A Cost of Community Services Study of Scio Township (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Potawatomi Land Trust, July 1996). References to the COCS study in their policy report are to the University of Michigan study, which also included an analysis of the agricultural industry and infrastructure in Washtenaw County.

  62. Southeast Michigan Agricultural Land Preservation Project, n 60 supra, table 11-9, p. 119. These results reflect the passage of Proposal A and are for the 1994-95 fiscal year for Scio Township in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

  63. Ibid.

  64. Ibid., p. 56.

  65. Ibid., p. 11.

  66. This assumes that all remaining 15,400 acres are devoted to commercial and residential uses.

  67. Gary Wolfram, An Analysis of 'A Cost of Community Services Study of Scio Township' (Hillsdale, Michigan: Hillsdale Policy Group, Ltd., May 1997), pp. 2-4.

  68. Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Development Patterns: The Costs of Current Development Versus Compact Growth, Final Report, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, June 1997.

  69. Ibid., see table II-5, p. II-26.

  70. Ibid., table IV-2, p. IV-18.

  71. From 1982 to 1992, the most recent data available, land in urban areas increased from 1,556,000 acres to 1,760,000 acres.

  72. Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Development Patterns in Michigan, n 68 supra, p. I-25.

  73. This is a surprisingly consistent omission throughout the SEMCOG study. The analysis and study design largely ignore real estate markets and consumer preferences for particular types of housing and neighborhoods. The authors conceive of urban development solely as a political goal: "An important aspect of each community profile is identification of the goals that compact growth would be intended to achieve for that community." Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Development Impacts in Michigan, p. III-3. The authors interviewed planners and local public officials to determine key development issues, current land-use development patterns and the future forms of current development and compact growth. The authors did not use community attitude surveys, interviews with developers, or market research of household preferences to identify goals or the beneficial characteristics of community.

  74. Alan A. Altshuler and Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez, Regulation for Revenue: the Political Economy of Land Use Exactions (Washington, D. C.: Brookings Institution, 1993), p. 70

  75. For an interesting exchange and debate on this issue, see Peter Gordon and Harry W. Richardson, "Are Compact Cities a Desirable Planning Goal?" Journal of the American Planning Association 63, no. 1, winter 1997, pp. 99-100 and Reid Ewing, "Is Los Angeles Style Sprawl Desirable?" pp. 115-16.

  76. Reviews of this literature can be found in Sam Staley, "Bigger is Not Better: The Virtues of Decentralized Local Government," Policy Analysis No. 166 (Washington, D. C.: Cato Institute, January 1992), pp. 16-19 and Stephen Hayward, Preserving the American Dream: The Facts about Suburban Communities and Housing Choice (Sacramento, California: California Building Industry Association, September 1996).

  77. "Bigger is Not Better," n 76 supra.

  78. "Is Los Angeles Style Sprawl Desirable?" n 75 supra, p. 115.

  79. Preserving the American Dream, n 76 supra, p. 6.

  80. U. S. Bureau of the Census, City Employment, series GE, No. 2, annual cited in The American Almanac, n 24 supra, table 511, p. 325.

  81. Government of the District of Columbia, Department of Finance and Revenue, Tax Rates and Tax Burdens in the District of Columbia: A Nationwide Comparison, 1994 cited in The American Almanac, n 24 supra, table 491, p. 311.

  82. Stephen Moore and Dean Stansel, A Prosperity Agenda for Michigan Cities (Midland, Michigan: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, November 1993), table 4, p. 9.

  83. Ibid., p. 13.

  84. U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, cited in The American Almanac, n 24 supra, table 313, p. 203.

  85. Dana Berliner, How Detroit Drives Out Motor City Entrepreneurs (Washington, D. C.: Institute for Justice, no date).

  86. Jon Pepper, "Red Tape Stands in Way of Detroit Development," The Detroit News, September 10, 1997.

  87. Samuel R. Staley, "Environmental Policy and Urban Revitalization: The Role of Lender Liability," Capital University Law Review 25, no. 1, 1996, pp. 51-99.

  88. Michigan has already moved to address some of these environmental problems. In 1996, the legislature passed Public Acts 380 and 383, which established a program to clean up state-owned hazardous waste sites. The state identified 124 sites that were eligible for government funds. Twenty-nine percent of the sites were in Wayne, Oakland, Ingham, and Crawford Counties. As of May 1998, 11 sites have been remediated. Source: Office of Special Environmental Projects, Department of Environmental Quality, Lansing, Michigan.

  89. Stephen Goldsmith, The Twenty-first Century City (Washington, D. C.: Regnery Publishing, 1997), p. 77.

  90. Ibid.

  91. Ibid., p. 10.

  92. Ibid., p. 85.

  93. Boris DeWiel, Steven Hayward, Laura Jones, and M. Danielle Smith, Index of Leading Environmental Indicators for the U. S. and Canada (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, April 1997), pp. 10-22. See also Indur M. Goklany, "Richer is Cleaner," in The True State of the Planet, ed. Ronald Bailey (New York: Free Press, 1995), pp. 339-77.

  94. Randal O'Toole, "ISTEA: A Poisonous Brew for American Cities," Policy Report No. 287 (Washington, D. C.: Cato Institute, November 1997).

  95. Ibid., table 2, pp. 24-5.

  96. Ibid., pp. 21-4.

  97. Ibid., p. 22.

  98. Ibid., p. 23.

  99. See Ewing, "Is Los Angeles-Style Sprawl Desirable?" n 75 supra, p. 113.

  100. See also the discussion in O'Toole, "ISTEA," n 94 supra, p. 23.

  101. For an analysis and proposed alternatives, see Thomas A. Rubin and James E. Moore, II, Rubber Tire Transit: A Viable Alternative to Rail (Los Angeles: Reason Public Policy Institute, August 1997); John Semmens, Twelve Ways to Keep the Valley Moving without Expanding Public Transit (Phoenix: Goldwater Institute, August 1997); Peter Gordon and Harry W. Richardson, "The Counterplan for Transportation in Southern California: Spend Less, Serve More," Policy Study No. 174 (Los Angeles: Reason Public Policy Institute, February 1994).

  102. "Curb rights" are a novel new approach to using property rights to create a competitive market in public transit. See Daniel B. Klein, Adrian T. Moore, and Binyam Reja, Curb Rights: A Foundation for Free Enterprise in Urban Transit (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute, 1997).

  103. Peter Gordon and Harry W. Richardson, "Where's the Sprawl?" Journal of the American Planning Association 63, no. 2, spring 1997, pp. 275-78. (Letter to the Editor.)

  104. This is called "polycentric" urban form while the more traditional urban form was "monocentric."

  105. "Is Los Angeles-Style Sprawl Desirable?" n 75 supra, p. 114.

  106. Policy Recommendations and Options for the Future Growth of Michigan Agriculture, Michigan Farmland and Agriculture Development Task Force, December 1994.

  107. A dissenting editorial voice was provided by Thomas J. Bray, "What's So Bad About 'Urban Sprawl'," The Detroit News, February 15, 1998.

  108. Washtenaw County Agricultural Lands and Open Space Preservation Plan Preliminary Report, Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, September 11, 1997.

  109. Mumford, The City in History, n 5 supra, p. 487.

  110. David P. Varady and Jeffrey A. Raffel, Selling Cities: Attracting Homebuyers Through Schools and Housing Programs (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1995), chapters 4 and 5.

  111. Data for 1995 are from the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  112. William D.Eggers, et al. Cutting Local Government Costs Through Competition and Privatization (Los Angeles: Reason Public Policy Institute, et al., 1997), p. 26.

  113. Ibid., p. 32.

  114. Keith Wiebe, Abebayehu Tegene, and Betsy Kuhn, Partial Interests in Land: Policy Tools for Resource Use and Conservation. Agricultural Economic Report No. 744 (Washington, D. C.: Economic Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, November 1996), table 2, p. 12.

  115. Jennifer Preston, "Some states tackling urban sprawl with new taxes," New York Times, June 9, 1998.

  116. This proportion is consistent with the urban design standards established by proponents of compact development. See Peter Calthorpe, The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Architectural Press, 1993), p. 91.

  117. Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97, n 20 supra, table 1.4.1, p. 51.

  118. Farmland in urbanizing areas is typically valued at significantly higher levels than farmland further out from urban areas. This reflects the fact that land closer to jobs, friends, and existing communities is more valuable for most people (hence higher demand) than land further out. Note, however, that price is not the sole determinant of value in the market. The value of the property is determined jointly by both the buyer and seller. The farmer, despite a significantly lower appraised value, still may believe the land is more valuable as farmland than as residential land. Thus, the price serves as a market signal and reflects its value only when a transaction occurs.

  119. See Policy No. 46 from 1998 Policy Book, adopted by the delegates to the 78th annual meeting, Michigan Farm Bureau, December 9-12, 1997, Traverse City, Michigan. "We believe in the American capitalist, private, competitive-enterprise system in which property is privately owned, privately managed and operated for profit and individual satisfaction." 1998 Policy Book, p. 42.

  120. "Any erosion of that right weakens all other rights guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution." Ibid.

  121. Ibid. For further discussion of the importance of property rights, see Donald J. Kochan, "Reforming the Law of Takings in Michigan" (Midland, Michigan: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 1996) and Donald J. Kochan, "Reforming Property Forfeiture Laws to Protect Citizens' Rights" (Midland, Michigan: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, July 1998).

  122. The contradiction between planning restrictions on property rights and the protections against takings is not evident in the Michigan Farm Bureau's policy statement. Policy Nos. 44 and 45, for example, advocate the use of zoning and other government interventions to protect farmland against urban development. Of course, zoning is a political restriction on the property rights of landowners, often other farmers.

  123. "In the future, we will view land less as a commodity that can be freely traded and more as a public resource that must be utilized and maintained for the good of all." "Land Resources," n 32 supra, p. 3.

  124. 1995 forecasts provided for 1998 through 2045 by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  125. Ibid.

  126. Ibid.

  127. Ibid.

  128. "Is Los Angeles-Style Sprawl Desirable?" n 75 supra, pp. 108-9.

  129. For an excellent overview of this point, see Randall G. Holcombe, Florida's Growth Management Experiment: An Analysis (Tallahassee, Florida: James Madison Institute, September, 1995), pp. 4-7.

  130. "Is Los Angeles-Style Sprawl Desirable?" n 75 supra, p. 109.

  131. McDonald, Fundamentals of Urban Economics, n 8 supra, p. 11.

  132. In other states, concerns about traffic congestion have led analysts and policy makers to recommend extensive light rail mass transit system. Outside of Detroit, little support seems to exist for this as an approach to alleviating suburban congestion in Michigan.

  133. See the brief discussion in John M. Levy, Contemporary Urban Planning, 2nd Ed. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1991), pp. 14-15.