Re: affordable housing
From: rphilipdowds (
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2020 13:15:21 -0800 (PST)
Actually, most jurisdictions eventually discover it is extremely hard to prove 
who “lives” where, as opposed to who is just visiting, or who is not even 
present — or prove who is “unrelated”, when two people insist they are cousins 
— and so on.  So mostly these jurisdictions either quietly give up on 
enforcement, or repeal laws that don’t work.  Turns out zoning is pretty good 
for managing the physical parameters and attributes of real estate*; but it’s 
pretty crappy for managing human behavior.

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

 * But even here, I may be over-optimistic.  Also turns out that defining 
"dwelling unit" can get pretty iffy as well.
On Jan 4, 2020, 5:17 PM -0500, Brian Bartholomew via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
[at]>, wrote:
> R Philip Dowds <rphilipdowds [at]> writes:
> > I'm describing a dwelling design model used mostly college dormitories
> > and care facilities, but there's no reason why it can't work out for
> > economical options in cohousing as well. Best of all, it's probably
> > code-legal in most jurisdictions. A four bedroom, four bathroom
> > housing unit might attract some interest and speculation during public
> > plan review, but few jurisdictions are willing to get involved in
> > limiting dwelling unit size, or controlling occupancy over time.
> Especially if you plan to quietly break the zoning limit on how many
> unrelated adults can live in one house, like I see college students
> do. Don't reveal it by parking six cars at one house.

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