Do zoning ordinances limit inner city prosperity? Where will political support for increased federal spending for the poor come from? How much money spend on the "War on Poverty" was wasted? Why is inner city education so poor? How would inner city work programs be implemented? Will this summer's welfare reforms help or hurt the inner city? Is a "race war" on the horizon? How can inner cities be reconnected to the rest of Amercian society? Viewer comments Charles Preimsberg of Ellensburg, WA, asks:
My question is related to local issues. I am referring to local building codes and zoning ordinances. There has been a significant tightening of these ordinances in many communities. These ordinance changes typically increase the cost of development and the cost of doing business. Do you believe that these limits the opportunities for job development in the innner city? Is it a factor in limiting new jobs in the inner city?
Dr. Wilson responds:
This is a good question that requires research on the relationship between business development in inner-city neighborhoods and building codes and zoning ordinances. It is my understanding that many developers balk at the costs of renovating some of these older buildings, especially the inordinately high expense associated with lead paint and asbestos removal. In many instances this may require considerable investment. However, federal and local government could help to defray some of these costs or provide tax incentives to business owners who commit to help rebuild the inner-city, thereby relieving them of some of the burden.