THE kerfuffle between Mayor Thomas Menino and developer Don Chiofaro over a proposed skyscraper on the waterfront put a zoning argument on the front page. That’s good news, because Massachusetts could use a good public debate about how local governments decide what should and should not be built. As the law now stands, Boston faces an unfortunate choice between allowing construction, which brings benefits to developers and costs to neighbors, or restricting development, which pushes up prices and limits the region’s growth. A better process would allocate building permits through prices. Developers, in short, would pay for the right to build. For their part, cities and towns would be pushed to expedite permitting decisions.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Building By Numbers." Boston Globe, April 22, 2010.