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Americans Back Tough Limits on Building in Fire and Flood Zones

An article in the New York Times today highlights new research showing that Americans support government action to restrict development in climate-threatened flood and fire zones -- in some cases, the policies that Americans support are far more stringent than what local governments are currently willing to pursue. 

"Eighty-four percent of respondents, including 73 percent of Republicans, supported mandatory building codes in risky areas, and 57 percent supported making it illegal to build in those areas. More than half of respondents favored paying people to move, including three-quarters of Democrats," according to the article. 

The article goes on to describe how despite the risks, cities are averse to curtailing development due to the potential for lost tax revenues, lost jobs, and lobbying by influential home builders and developers on local officials. 

"That public support is at odds with actual policies in most of the country," says the article. "Just one-third of local jurisdictions around the United States have adopted disaster-resistant provisions into their building codes for homes and businesses, according to research by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, an advocacy group based in Florida."