What is Urban Sprawl? Why is it considered a problem?
With respect to the UGBs there is an arbitrariness in determining the boundaries. Moreover, to the extent that land at the boundaries have more access to open space and open space is valuable this should reflect in their housing value. However, because UGBs are subject to change this person will likely lose value on their home and engage in rent-seeking behavior to try to restrict growth to maintain their housing values. The existence of a UGB creates a bootleggers and baptists public choice problem where current residents desire to restrict land use to keep their housing prices artificially high while planners and environmentalists like it because it decreases sprawl.
Zoning also has similar problems where it makes land artificially scarce. Moreover, the creation of a zoning bureaucracy as well as the rent-seeking that ensues from the bureaucracy to the state and local governments as well as rent-seeking from developers is a drain on resources that could have been allocated to more productive uses. With respect to urban sprawl and zoning it seems to be a case where the cure is worse than the disease.
The bottom line on UGB and Zoning is that there are possible benefits to society; but, these benefits are difficult to measure. Moreover, these policies are difficult to implement in an appropriate manner that does not perturb market allocations of housing goods too much. To the extent we value the ability for people to have affordable rent or housing these policies are quite detrimental. To say the least, it is unclear that benefits exceed costs.
The congestion fee and impact fee ideas have some merit because their administrative costs would be relatively low with both. Also measurement of the impact fee should be relatively easy since there is a more concrete idea about how much infrastructure costs. Also, even though congestion as a social cost would be difficult to measure the price can be manipulated to search out what price produces a good flow of traffic (again, there are measurement problems, "what is a good flow?") . . .
I think the post has gotten long enough. I'll post on another Urban topic tomorrow.