Limiting growth, one water meter at a time

A California community decided that the best way to limit growth was to put a moratorium on water meters, meaning nobody could put up a new house, anywhere in town.

Okay, but it doesn’t take an econ major to guess at what ended up happening.  Sales prices went through the roof, over the years.  Oh, but not the sales prices of homes, but sales prices of … water meters.

(L)ate last month, a water meter was auctioned for $310,000. For that, the buyer didn’t get a house, or even land on which to build a house – just the right to hook up to the municipal water supply, which comes from the Arroyo Honda, a spring-fed creek about five miles north of town.

This kind of puts the town in the old “Catch 22”.

The irony of the sale by a nonprofit group is not lost on residents in this community of 1,600. “The water meter money is being used for affordable housing, but the reason there’s so little affordable housing in the first place is the water meters,” said Dieter Tremp, an artist who lives in Bolinas.

Ironic is one word for it!

Complete article: One Town Stops Time by Turning Off the Water

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Updated: Boston Real Estate Blog 2022