[P]erhaps there is more to it than voters acting in their economic self-interest. Places like Charlotte, N.C., and Las Vegas seem able to grow and grow without ever setting off land-use protectionism.
“Outside of the coastal areas of California and the Amtrak Northeast Corridor, you don’t see this phenomenon,” Professor Gyourko said. “It may be that the civic culture is really different in those areas.” Maybe there really are two Americas. “One allows development, and the other puts a lot of restrictions on it.”
As to why, read her column.