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.