In 1849, The Gold
Rush sent thousands of opportunity-seeking gold-miners into San Francisco.
Housing went ballistic: $800 to rent a one-room shack. A property that
went for $25,000 in 1848, brought $300,000 in 1849. In 2001 the rush
is on again. Not in San Francisco, but in the Central Valley. Not for
gold, but for the California dream: a home with space enough for young
families to expand, and escape the frustrations and overcrowding of
In our first
installment of this series, we met families who were willing to
pay the price of long commutes, gridlock congestion, and increasingly
less time with the family just to realize that homeowner's dream.
Many urban centers
in the Valley are deteriorating, while suburbs spread to accommodate
the dream. But according to the California Building Industry Association,
the state is only providing half the houses we need for the growth we're
experiencing. Is anyone at the helm in planning the growth of the communities
in the Central Valley? Are developers having a field day at the expense
of the economy and the environment?
kind of picture is the Central Valley scenario painting for those thousands
of young families hunting that California dream?