Smart-growth policies, designed to put a damper on runaway development and preserve local character, have recently come under attack in a handful of U.S. communities. In Loudon County, Va., on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., nearly 200 lawsuits were filed last week against the county’s growth-control policies. Also last week, the mayor of Erie, Colo., a small mining town, had to beat back a developer-funded campaign to oust her because of her efforts to curb excessive development; she won a recall vote 1,065 to 874, but not without a difficult battle. “This is very shortsighted,” Elise Jones of the Colorado Environmental Council said of efforts to roll back growth restrictions. “[L]ong-term economic vitality is tied to the protection of our quality of life.”

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