Monday, April 21, 2014

Does the mayor of Layton hate the free market or is he unfairly helping his home construction business?

Layton Mayor: Market schmarket.
Layton mayor, Bob Stevenson, recently put a moratorium on the construction of new apartments in Layton. He said "I do not believe Layton City needs any more apartments at this time," and that his city is "well within the range of what is needed for affordable housing." So, rather than have the market determine what gets built in Layton, Mr Stevenson prefers that that's decided by government. Need I remind this Republican that the market can decide what people want better than he can?

Despite Mr Stevensen's worries about apartments running amok in Layton, in actuality single family homes have been the focus of Layton construction over the last 13 years. Using data from the U's BEBR database we plot the percent of new construction that has been focused on regular, single family homes:

So, for about 8 or 9 of the last 12 years ~75% or more of the new units built in Layton have come in the form of single family homes. Considering this, and the fact that people are driving less and buying fewer cars than they used to, why would Mr Stevenson decree that the Layton residents need special government protection from new apartments? Can any locals confirm if the single family homes there actually need to be coddled by the heavy hand of government?

Note: Perhaps his decree is not entirely naive. His profile here states that he worked for BJS Quality Homes for 17 years. Guess what they specialized in? Residential home construction. Interestingly, BJS are the mayor's initials, so it stands to reason that he still has a ties to this company. Can anyone confirm? Maybe a  According to the this document, the mayor runs this company, so it appears his relationship to his business is affecting his policy decisions.

Layton citizens beware.


  1. In his resume on the city election page, he lists"BJS Quality Homes - Residential Homes Construction (17 years)" and "President, Northern Wasatch Home Builders Association." It seems to me that it isn't that the people of Layton that need special government protection from new apartments, it's Mr. Stevenson. The guy's a politician. Follow the money.

  2. Thanks! Was just noticing that and glad you made the point as well.