Author Topic: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?  (Read 21434 times)

Guses

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #50 on: August 26, 2015, 11:13:01 AM »
The problem with a house is that you can't just pick it up and install it somewhere else. When you buy it, there is no telling what might spring up next to it.

I think you should totally get a say in what gets built around your house.

In my neighborhood, they are building a new gas station with convenience store literally across the street from ... a gas station with a convenience store! But hey, they are following all zoning the rules, they should be able to build whatever they want right? Now I can comparison shop my gasoline! ... Oh right, price fixing and all....

seattlecyclone

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #51 on: August 26, 2015, 11:31:45 AM »
The problem with a house is that you can't just pick it up and install it somewhere else. When you buy it, there is no telling what might spring up next to it.

I think you should totally get a say in what gets built around your house.

In my neighborhood, they are building a new gas station with convenience store literally across the street from ... a gas station with a convenience store! But hey, they are following all zoning the rules, they should be able to build whatever they want right? Now I can comparison shop my gasoline! ... Oh right, price fixing and all....

Yes, of course they should be able to build whatever they want, so long as it fits with the zoning rules. It's their land. If you want to control the size, appearance, and function of neighboring structures past what the rules dictate, you should purchase those properties. Then it will be your land and you will be free to build (or not build) to your heart's content, again subject to the rules that our democratically elected government has put in place.

gReed Smith

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2015, 12:00:12 PM »
Zoning is great.  We all want zoning so that people can't externalize their costs and trample the property values of an entire neighborhood for the benefit of one person.  But it can go way too far when you want to control every use of every parcel and stop people from being able to move into neighborhood with good schools.  I don't want to live next to a pig farm, but I'm not scared to have my kid attend school with some lower-class kids (in fact, I fear my children will be too sheltered in my homogenous white neighborhood).

seattlecyclone

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2015, 12:22:51 PM »
When you live in a desirable area, the "I don't want to live next to a pig farm" thing really is moot. They could eliminate all zoning laws in my neighborhood tomorrow and there would be precisely zero pig farms, landfills, heavy industry, etc. going in there, not when the land is worth a few million dollars per acre. What would happen is a lot of small, old homes in marginal condition would be replaced by a mix of large single-family homes and multi-family dwellings. The added density would create problems for people who currently rely on the ability to freely store their vehicles on the public right-of-way, but would help to expand the tax base and create more demand for frequent transit, businesses in walking distance, and a whole host of other amenities.

Guses

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2015, 12:31:06 PM »
When you live in a desirable area, the "I don't want to live next to a pig farm" thing really is moot. They could eliminate all zoning laws in my neighborhood tomorrow and there would be precisely zero pig farms, landfills, heavy industry, etc. going in there, not when the land is worth a few million dollars per acre. What would happen is a lot of small, old homes in marginal condition would be replaced by a mix of large single-family homes and multi-family dwellings. The added density would create problems for people who currently rely on the ability to freely store their vehicles on the public right-of-way, but would help to expand the tax base and create more demand for frequent transit, businesses in walking distance, and a whole host of other amenities.

Zoning is just one thing, nobody actually plans for sustainable development.

In your example, how will you get all those extra people to work? Public transit? Well, businesses and industries are all over the place, good luck having a functional transit system.


Leanthree

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2015, 12:45:47 PM »
Can we move this to "Off Topic" please.

It is a fine debate but it has nothing to do with anything other than one (wo)man's plight.

GoldenStache

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2015, 12:48:22 PM »
How to stop a high-density housing project in my city? 

Move to a less desirable city.

seattlecyclone

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2015, 12:53:58 PM »
When you live in a desirable area, the "I don't want to live next to a pig farm" thing really is moot. They could eliminate all zoning laws in my neighborhood tomorrow and there would be precisely zero pig farms, landfills, heavy industry, etc. going in there, not when the land is worth a few million dollars per acre. What would happen is a lot of small, old homes in marginal condition would be replaced by a mix of large single-family homes and multi-family dwellings. The added density would create problems for people who currently rely on the ability to freely store their vehicles on the public right-of-way, but would help to expand the tax base and create more demand for frequent transit, businesses in walking distance, and a whole host of other amenities.

Zoning is just one thing, nobody actually plans for sustainable development.

In your example, how will you get all those extra people to work? Public transit? Well, businesses and industries are all over the place, good luck having a functional transit system.



Well, people are moving to the area anyway. I guess we can just throw our hands up in the air and say good mass transit is impossible, the current zoning is fine, and we should just make newcomers build houses farther out into the suburbs and drive to their downtown jobs on increasingly congested roads. Alternatively we can allow people to build more housing close to where they work, and ensure that we use the extra tax money they contribute to help beef up the bus network and add things like subways when density permits.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2015, 12:56:30 PM »
The funny thing is, zoning is supposed to prevent all these bad outcomes, but it never gets done right (how could it?) and so you might as well live in Houston where getting things built isn't such an impossibility and there's nearly no zoning at all.

gReed Smith

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2015, 01:14:07 PM »
When you live in a desirable area, the "I don't want to live next to a pig farm" thing really is moot. They could eliminate all zoning laws in my neighborhood tomorrow and there would be precisely zero pig farms, landfills, heavy industry, etc. going in there, not when the land is worth a few million dollars per acre.

A better example of externalizing costs might be putting up apartments without building sufficient off-street parking, or putting in a grocery store without upgrading the nearest intersection to provide for the increased truck traffic.  These are the sorts of things that zoning and permitting help avoid.  But, for some reason once people realize they can control things, they go overboard and try to tell everyone how (and where) to live.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2015, 01:32:00 PM »
Lots of zoning is reactionary. From looking at my town's zoning code, rebuilding with most of its current lots would be illegal. I'm not sure what would happen if my house burned down.

A mom

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #61 on: August 27, 2015, 05:55:53 AM »
OP, maybe you can't stop this particular high density project, but I do believe you can help shape a win/win solution for the future of your community. Look into form based code and the advantages of mixed use development. You can have higher density housing that is concentrated in walkable areas with services such as grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, reducing the need for people to use their cars and thus reducing overall traffic.  The good news is that this kind of development results in much high property tax income per acre for the community at the same time that the expenses to the city are lower, thus improving the net spending ability of the community. This leads to a solvent community that can pay for services, including good schools. Read the work of Joe Minicozzi on this. I was amazed. Another good source is the Strong Towns website and Chuck Marohn.  You will of course have to educate  you neighbors and get involved, but why are we here if not to make the world a better place?

GuitarStv

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2015, 06:35:47 AM »
I'm typically against the people who feel entitled to block higher density development in a city.  Cities naturally become more dense and need that development over time . . . and typically become better/more efficient because of it (better transit, more variety of stores, more programs, etc.).  That said, I think this is the best approach to take if you're dead set on doing something . . .

OP, maybe you can't stop this particular high density project, but I do believe you can help shape a win/win solution for the future of your community. Look into form based code and the advantages of mixed use development. You can have higher density housing that is concentrated in walkable areas with services such as grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, reducing the need for people to use their cars and thus reducing overall traffic.  The good news is that this kind of development results in much high property tax income per acre for the community at the same time that the expenses to the city are lower, thus improving the net spending ability of the community. This leads to a solvent community that can pay for services, including good schools. Read the work of Joe Minicozzi on this. I was amazed. Another good source is the Strong Towns website and Chuck Marohn.  You will of course have to educate  you neighbors and get involved, but why are we here if not to make the world a better place?

Gone Fishing

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #63 on: August 27, 2015, 08:28:28 AM »
Move.  That's what I did.  To a less populated, no/slow growth area.  They don't build anything around here!  I was even able to afford 6 acres.  During the right time of year, I can even walk outside naked if I wish!

dragoncar

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #64 on: August 27, 2015, 09:52:48 AM »
Move.  That's what I did.  To a less populated, no/slow growth area.  They don't build anything around here!  I was even able to afford 6 acres.  During the right time of year, I can even walk outside naked if I wish!

Yep, I dream of a bit of acreage around me for separation.  But of that acreage ever became High value is probably end up selling it to developers :-)

K-ice

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #65 on: August 27, 2015, 12:06:47 PM »
Can we move this to "Off Topic" please.

It is a fine debate but it has nothing to do with anything other than one (wo)man's plight.

Many older Neighbourhoods are facing development and infill issues.

I think this is the plight of many.

Many people have a significant amount of net worth, as well as general life happiness, tied to their homes so it is a MMM issue.


Now we can't stop infill or developers, and I do not want to.
But we can all become more involved in what is happening in our community and what the future will look like.

I would suggest you get involved before something is right next door.

When developers & planners follow current zoning & Guidelines there is little problem.

I also think people need to be creative and think out of the box sometimes.

But when developers ingore the current rules and ask for drastic zoning changes the community should become involved.

Chopping down 100y old healthy trees has become a sore point in my area. Do you support that so a McMansion can be built?

Let's say you are an avid gardener and now your Neighbour wants to build a 6-plex that is 2 stories higher than allowed and covers most of the lot so now your yard is in total shade. Currently only 2-plex are allowed and the last 40% of the lot should be yard. They need to apply for a zoning change and some planner rubber stamped the change because they are pro-density.

I think this scenario is more extreme than what the OP suggested but not impossible.

I would hope fellow Mustacians, especially if you are retired, would take the time to review the issues and support this Neighbour.





gReed Smith

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #66 on: August 27, 2015, 12:12:16 PM »


Chopping down 100y old healthy trees has become a sore point in my area. Do you support that so a McMansion can be built?



Really?  People want to steal other people's property rights to create some sort of tree reserve?  Again, they should pool their resources and negotiate then purchase a conservation easement to protect the trees.  Or just buy the lot.  But don't use government to force someone else to abandon their hope of having a home in that neighborhood.

K-ice

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #67 on: August 27, 2015, 12:47:10 PM »
^^^

There are tree conservation rules on private land in some cities.
 
Honestly, I am not sure  exactly where I stand in the issue but some rules should probably be in place.

I am not suggesting an entire tree reserve, but well planed design and construction can preserve existing trees.

If the majority of the people in an area want trees protected, & they lobby their government to democratically put in place such rules, I think that is fine.

As for property rights. You may own your entire lot but I doubt there is anyplace where you can build to cover a 100% footprint & build infinitely high.

Often the trees are already near the edge of the property so protecting them may not even alter the design of what you want to build.


Ghzbani

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #68 on: August 27, 2015, 12:52:47 PM »
Ignoring the debate surrounding whether you should, I'm not sure you can. My experience with property rights is a little limited but I'm pretty sure you've missed your deadline. I remember while working in a Title/Real-estate law office that this was a common complaint. We'd hear about people who "showed up late to the party" and only took notice of a project when signs got put up and pamphlets went around. Like health, the best procedures are preventative so take a more active role in dealing with future developments if that's a community issue concerning you.

gReed Smith

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #69 on: August 27, 2015, 01:24:49 PM »
What if I democratically lobbied my government to put in place a rule that all of the houses on the corner lots should be torn down and the lots turned into playgrounds and parks?  Sounds great to me because I don't live on a corner lot and I would benefit from the increased open space. Heck, I could come up with a ton of rules that serve my enjoyment of old trees and open space, and only burden a minority of people.  And, since it's government action, I never have to put my money where my mouth is and pay for my own preferences.

If all of these wonderful old trees are on the edges of lots, and your community has reasonable setbacks, then there probably is no need for a silly ordinance protecting a tree.  But if there is a tree in the center of the lot, where the setbacks require that the house is built, then you're stealing the whole lot by protecting that tree.  If the trees are really of such great value, or if protecting them is really of minimal impact on landowners, then it shouldn't be too hard/expensive to purchase conservation easements and justly compensate the landowners for the property rights that you wish to take from them.

zoltani

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #70 on: August 27, 2015, 01:29:31 PM »
This same thing is going on in my city. One neighborhood wants to pull up the drawbridge and close off their hood.

"To accommodate that growth, the draft of city plans call for a mix of zoning changes to allow for duplexes and triplexes in single-family zones as well as changes that would allow for multi-family developments. Those changes donít sit well with many residents of established neighborhoods, who fear apartments will change their streets.
Sammy Pruitt Sonju, for example, has been part of an effort in Proctor to call for a moratorium on new construction in that neighborhood."

Moratorium on new construction, sounds like great planning to me!

dragoncar

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #71 on: August 27, 2015, 04:06:57 PM »
Can we move this to "Off Topic" please.

It is a fine debate but it has nothing to do with anything other than one (wo)man's plight.

Should be moved to antimustachian wall of shame

Another Reader

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Re: How to stop a high-density housing project in my city?
« Reply #72 on: August 27, 2015, 04:16:18 PM »
Vote the people that are destroying the character and quality of your neighborhoods out.  Support and elect anti-growth candidates.  Get them to clean house and de-bark the planning department.  More traffic, more crowding, more crime - just say no with your dollars and your votes.