Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 33 of 33

Thread: What's so bad about a cottage (small home)?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC area
    Posts
    783
    Forgot to say that I'd gladly live in a little sub-1000 sq ft cottage type house. In the municipality I work for, we have a development that was built about 100 years ago that consists of a couple of acres of nothing but little mini-houses on small lots. Given the outrageous housing costs in the area, they provide a great opportunity for young couples who want an alternative to apartment living (which can be suffocating and cramped after a while).

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,664
    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    The problem with Easton, Massachusetts is not density per se, it is that they don't want "those people" from neighboring Brockton, Massachusetts to move in, and if you build houses that "those people" might be able to afford, pretty soon "those people" are moving in next door, dating your daughter and tempting your pretty blond wife with their swarthy, "those-person"-like charms.

    Trust me, I grew up around there and almost every land use issue can be traced back to keeping "them" out, no matter what the superficial reason is claimed to be.

    Edit: OK, not really every decision, but sometimes it felt that way.
    Absolutely. The surrounding towns' policies are mainly geared to keeping Brockon in Brockton and it seems to repeat around every city in New England. I imagine this mindset is the case everywhere but it can't be worse than it is here.

    How does this attitude change other than making places like Brockton less "scary" places?

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, New York
    Posts
    1,681
    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    Well that sounds awful. But surely 'those people' are not a "material" concern. If it affects the built character of the area fine, but do your planning laws really concern themselves with potential demographics of residents?
    It's not the laws per se (that would be illegal), but the reason behind the laws and zoning regs, and it's very widespread through out the US. The only question is the differences in degree. The first rule NIMBYism: large homes on large lots = high prices = wealthier homeowners = "better" neighbors. The second rule of NIMBYism: now that I'm living in Paradise, don't let anybody else in.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gone to a better place (in my mind)
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    Well that sounds awful. But surely 'those people' are not a "material" concern. If it affects the built character of the area fine, but do your planning laws really concern themselves with potential demographics of residents?
    Absolutely. One great technique is called vascectomy zoning and it's all the rage in Massachusetts and some other places. Simply direct developers through sticks and carrots to build only large, expensive detached housing, age-restricted housing or only 2-bedroom or smaller apartments and condominiums and watch your population's skin tone lighten!

    It's great because it kills two birds with one stone: fewer children go into the public school system, saving money, and fewer low-income and minority families move into the area, because low-income families can't afford the more expensive detached housing and minority families are statistically more likely to have large families and have lower incomes. It allows all sorts of discrimination without seeming like it does.

  5. #30
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,826
    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    Well that sounds awful. But surely 'those people' are not a "material" concern. If it affects the built character of the area fine, but do your planning laws really concern themselves with potential demographics of residents?
    As most of us doubtless know, the dynamic JimPlans speaks of is usually called "exclusionary zoning." And yes, zoning now does take the impact such land use restrictions (large lots and large minimal building footprints to price out "undesirables") have on development and demographics. Court attention to and action against exclusionary zoning practices really began in the 1960s and 70s when the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights movement gained momentum. One of my planning professors is the daughter of some of the key litigants in the NAACP vs. Mt. Laurel case in 1975 which forever changed zoning and discriminatory housing practices (and consequently Planning) in New Jersey.

    As for Vasectomy Zoning, just seeing that name on the screen made me reach for cover. What a great title...

    On another note - I live in a smallish home (1250sf, 2br) built in 1907 with a wife and 2 kids. I love it. The house is very well-designed and laid out and functions beautifully. Yes, its a little tight, but to be honest, I grew up in a very large house and felt the family was more fractured and less connected than I am with my own as we share the limited common areas (and the kids share a bedroom - shocking by today's standards)

    I also agree with JimPlans' critique of many co-housing sites that are on greenfields. I really like the concepts, and I like the way housing's impact is reduced by clustering it and often preserving open spaces. But it still smacks of an exclusivity I find a little uncomfortable. However, I have also seen some very interesting co-housing projects that took existing housing and linked them by knocking down fences and walls, establishing one building as a common resource (big kitchen, workshop with shared tools and even washers and dryers) and sharing a big backyard. These are exciting projects, in my mind, because they create the cost-saving and communitas that co-housing seeks to achieve within the existing urban fabric. The challenge is finding adjacent properties that can be integrated like this.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #31

    What about Home Owner Associations?

    What about Home Owner Associations?
    How bout if to buy into a cottage community a tightly controlled trust were in place to insure beautiful landscape maintenance but ah, actually was a check to discriminate against 'undesirable others'. The up front cost to the buyer would go to a stromg board comprised of the owners and invested wisely for good return at moving time.

    A 4' high all concrete crawl space would do a lot for storage space.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,950
    What about cottages with communal amenities? Small homes grouped around a community center where you can have larger get-togethers? Some retirement communities have this concept; why not extend it to others?

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered
    May 2009
    Location
    United States of America
    Posts
    2

    I was hoping to hear more about what's bad about a cottage home...

    I think cottages are great, and I think they do bring families closer together -- When I was a kid, my brother and I got along well enough until I got my own room, and then i just wanted to be left alone.

    But I lived next door to a few Chinese kids and they had their grandparents living in their house -- I think this makes a lot of sense if you can cope with your pappy-in-law's flatulence. There can be a lot of benefits, especially for the kids. Any thoughts?

    I think what's so bad about a cottage home is how it continues the old trend of fractured families (while seeming to solve them), and it doesn't solve the problem of what to do with all our empty houses, instead proposing to make new smaller ones.

    Just thought I'd raise a different voice.

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

More at Cyburbia

  1. Cottage cheese
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 15 Feb 2012, 8:30 PM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last post: 17 Jan 2008, 11:53 AM
  3. Cottage Living subscription, anyone?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 10 Jan 2008, 10:32 PM
  4. Cottage bylaws?
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 08 Jan 2007, 9:57 AM
  5. Big Home + Small Price = Cheap house
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 16 Feb 2006, 12:49 PM