Re: Variations on low cost housing
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 14:04:19 -0700 (PDT)
> Zoning, which has been panned a lot on this list recently, is also
> sometimes used to prevent sprawl.

Most of the sites our group looked at allowed a maximum density of one
house per five acres, whereas we wanted 30 units.  The zoning on much
of our almost-rural-fringe permitted sprawl by rather-well-off people,
and banned low-cost non-sprawl.

> but city and county planners still need to take you into account for
> purposes of planning emergency services

I think that requirement mostly amounts to, have a road that is
engineered to support fire trucks that goes within X feet of every
dwelling.  Every layout we considered satisfied it.

> Most rural zoning (in areas I'm familiar with) forbid such a high
> density as well.

Our zonings seemed to permit clustering the dwellings.  If the lot is
big enough to allow X houses, you would be allowed to put all the
houses in one corner.  We still needed at least 3 families/acre from
zoning to make our price work.

> you can rent a space in a mobile-home park for ~$500/month, and you
> can buy a mobile home to put in it for ~$20k.

We looked at the MH zoning, and one defunct MH park, as being actually
closest to what we wanted to do.  It wasn't clear that it would allow
site-built houses for those who wanted them.  We didn't even consider
petitioning to switch to MH zoning, everybody would protest.


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