Not In My Neighborhood

California leads a grass-roots movement to slow development

John Morris will never forget the day four years ago when two bulldozers arrived in his tranquil West Los Angeles neighborhood. The 38-year-old accountant was already harboring doubts about life in the city. It takes him an hour to drive a mere 15 miles to work on the packed freeways, and he no longer wears contact lenses because the smog stings his eyes. Fear of toxic chemicals keeps him from setting foot in nearby Santa Monica Bay.

But when the corner gas station was leveled and replaced by an ugly mini- mall, Morris revolted. "My life has become an endurance test,"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!