Coastal California is notorious for its high housing costs. And to residents of beach communities like Encinitas, it’s not all that confounding. People like to live by the coast, after all.
But that doesn’t explain it all.
“There is a particular sense that a particular community can plead that it’s not our fault that housing is so expensive here,” said William Fischel, an economics and legal studies professor at Dartmouth College. “On one hand, they’re right. You can’t have an expensive place if people don’t want to live there, but you also make the problem worse, by limiting supply through environmental regulations or NIMBY land use policies.”
Among those so-called NIMBY (shorthand for “not in my backyard”) land use policies are zoning decisions that restrict how many homes can be built on a given piece of property.