CEI Releases “Sprawl” Principles as Nation Awaits EPA Appointment

Washington, DC, December 21, 2000 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with over one hundred other co-signers, announced ten principles for freedom and livability in America’s cities and suburbs. With the appointment of the next EPA Administrator expected soon, The Lone Mountain Compact spells out principles for decision makers to follow when evaluating growth-related issues.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


Urban and suburban growth “brings rapid change to our communities, often with negative side effects, such as traffic congestion, crowded public schools, and the loss of familiar open space,” reads the preamble of the Compact. Daniel Simmons, Environmental Policy Analyst and co-signer of the Compact, said, “Citizens demand solutions that will be responsive to growth’s rapid change. The Lone Mountain Compact provides a guiding framework for local and state decision makers as well as the incoming Administration.”


At present, many “sprawl-control” plans limit transportation and housing options, reducing the basic liberties of mobility and housing choice. As an antidote, the Compact’s first principle explains, “absent a material threat to other individuals or the community, people should be allowed to live and work where and how they like.”


Simmons stated that “cities and communities should be allowed to adapt to changing times and circumstances,” and, as the Compact’s second principle declares, “prescriptive, centralized plans that attempt to determine the detailed outcome of community form and function should be avoided.”


Many “sprawl-control” plans drive up the price of housing, making it difficult for low-income families to find affordable housing. The Compact’s seventh principle states, “All growth management policies should be evaluated according to their cost of living and ‘burden-shifting’ effects.”


Simmons concludes, “Truly livable communities can only be achieved if families are free to choose which housing and transportation decisions are best for them. The Lone Mountain Compact promotes this freedom and fairness.”



CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact David W. Riggs, Director of Land and Natural Resource Policy, at 202-331-1010, ext. 240 or [email protected].