Boulder Housing Poem

You can't build up. You can't build out.
There is no doubt, a housing crunch is hereabout.
With less space you increase demand
If you want a piece of land
The more bidders you have for a spot
The more it is going to cost a lot.

The way to bring the housing cost down
Is to spread the cost of dirt around.
Building higher is kind of fair
To reduce each unit's land cost share.
You can also shrink the building lot
But then a smaller house, you've got.
And of course, with materials cheap
You can reduce the price's upward creep.
Our choices so far, don't seem so nice,
To slow the rise in housing price.

What not to do is make folks pay more
To subsidize the house next door.
You can tax nine houses some odd percent
And lower the amount of the tenth one's rent.
For person one that might be fine,
But is it fair to the other nine?

If all the above facts are true
Here are things that we can do.
Allocate a non-view place
For high-rise residential space.
Allowing more tenants, unrelated,
Has been considered under-rated.
Changing zoning in certain places,
Might increase our apartment spaces.
Cheaper houses is probably unsound,
No one wants tent cities around.

These are the options on the pricing front
There's also a demand tactic that's kind of blunt.

Damn stupidity every day
Just might drive the folks away.
By reducing the city demand
You can reduce the cost of land.
Leaving eyesores for all to see
Is another way to make folks flee.
By reducing friendly shopping space
You can force people to seek another place.
But all of this is an ugly trick.
And it might even make the locals sick.

Suppose you decide to make it nice
A town with joy, variety, and spice.
Shopping places for all income types,
And a great reduction in political snipes.
A wide variety of housing choices,
That are not priced by government voices.
Open spaces and bike paths too,
And lots of things for folks to do.
Then you have a place, that even a mouse,
Will want to have their very own house.
But if the costs they get too high
People can choose to live nearby.

Some places are nice to live and work,
But living elsewhere is a better perk.
You get more house, a bigger yard
And maybe spend less time on guard.
You can help people choose to live elsewhere
By making it easier to get from there.
With lots of ways to get around
You can reduce the demand in town
Friendly roads, buses, and trails,
Maybe even some cars on rails.
All of these combine real nice,
To slow the rise in housing price.

It is up to the people to make a choice,
Sooner or later you'll feel their voice. 
If the town is full of idiocy
Then sales tax dollars will surely flee.
Each decision will have its pain.
Make sure you carefully weigh the gain.
If there is open space to please the eyes,
Then housing costs are going to rise.
If there are only small stores to shop,
Then sales tax revenue will surely drop.
Too many floors of parking space
Makes it tough to find a place.
A big old lot, with spaces afar
Makes it easy to park your car.

Look at each issue, its pros and cons.
Do we need more stores, or need more lawns?
Lay out our options, note by note,
And then, if needed, we can take a vote.
Have clear discussions, no foolish chatter,
And maybe we can resolve this matter.
Copyright 2002. Kurt J. Simmons