PHOENIX-Runaway development on the urban edge drains money from Arizona’s taxpayers and could cost hundreds of millions to revamp the region’s infrastructure, according to a new analysis released by proponents of an initiative that would significantly curtail construction.

Homes built on the edge of urban areas require up to $1,500 more in annual services than they pay into local budgets, says Joy Herr-Cardillo, an attorney with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. Herr-Cardillo and her group wrote the report for supporters of Proposition 202, the Citizens Growth Management Initiative.

“You are subsidizing the development that’s occurring on the fringes,” she says. “The economics of that are real important for people to understand.”

Wildcat subdivisions built far beyond the urban boundary, like those in Pima County, will require millions of dollars to revamp substandard services. Continued growth in northern Arizona could require a water pipeline costing at least $128 million, say proponents of Prop. 202.

Prop. 202, which will appear on the November ballot, would place a statewide moratorium on construction for two years. Cities would be required to adopt strict new growth boundaries.

Oppoonents of Prop. 202 say the measure would do more harm than good, costing the state up to 200,000 jobs in the first two years if the measure is approved.

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