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How Zoning Constricts Rich & Poor Alike

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Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/9/2013 5:14:30 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: How we keep people down
So much bad feeling is generated when we try to protect ourselves against something new and different. If we spent less time reacting and more time thinking of ways to improve our collective quality of life, things would no doubt get better.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
1/9/2013 1:25:37 PM
User Rank Staff
How we keep people down
Our society, or at least the people who control it with money, refuses to acknowledge that we create many of the problems we're pretending to guard ourselves against, by forcing and enforcing separation between people and groups. I don't think many things can improve in our cities, and in our world, until it's acknowledged, through action, that the way we treat and label people matters. We need mixed-income communities, and areas that mix expensive property with public housing, and areas that don't abide by NIMBY, in order to make people feel less dissed by society and, therefore, less likely to retaliate against it.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
1/9/2013 11:02:53 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Another side effect of NIMBY: sprawl
I just commented in a different blog yesterday about my town where they are building a new apartment complex with something like 200+ new apartments in a very high traffic area of town, its also being built along the main street (Glendale AVE) where there are a lot of businesses. The traffic is already bad enough there, not to mention parking. These apartments are not for low income people, but for people who can afford to pay $3000/month on rent. if they were to make these or any aparments in low income areas no one would bother renting because of the cost of rent and the dangers that come with low income areas.

The city is also renovating the entire business district, called City improvements, one of our city council persons said that the old Sears building is a blight and needs renovation, so now Sears is either going to leave the city or renovate. That company has only two options.

 

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
1/9/2013 10:55:03 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Zoning is there for a reason
Taggers are the resident Graffiti artists...well we do have police protection but not police patrols during the night when the taggers come out. It falls upon the organizations to clean up the graffiti at our own time and expense. To us it seems like the police patrol only the affluent parts of town. Heck they dont even stop Cell phone users while driving.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/9/2013 10:52:02 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Another side effect of NIMBY: sprawl
Great point on the knock-on effects, Susan. But I'd argue that for many people, diversity is just what they want to zone against. I'm talking about the adult, +55 communities, where residents have a tax break and can live in more heavily guarded communities, without the confusion, noise, and traffic that go with younger families. Personally, I can see the benefit of that for older folk.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
1/9/2013 10:50:00 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Zoning is there for a reason
Davedgreat2000, I'm not sure I understand your point in the second paragraph of your post. Why don't you have police support? What are taggers?

Are you saying that the industry portion of town can't get police protection?

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
1/9/2013 9:33:23 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Zoning is there for a reason
However, the fact of the matter is really about access to certain key sites in and around cities by a relative few who can actaully afford it. Its also about laws that favor only a few, unless you can afford a lawyer you can't get anything done. So called City planners who are way above my paygrade make the decisions and they almost always favor the wealthier people.

A volunteer organization I belong to is zoned in way that we have residential homes across the street and business and in some cases industry on the other. We can't play loud music without getting the cops called on us. We also dont have the support of the police in our neighborhood, and taggers abound. So zoning can and is both good and bad for business, homes, and industry alike.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
1/9/2013 7:40:08 AM
User Rank Blogger
Another side effect of NIMBY: sprawl
Really interesting article, Mary. Particularly where you get to the root of the problem -- fear of devaluing one's largest asset -- and the possible solutions, such as home value insurance.

The knock-on effect of NIMBY can be huge: there's sprawl, because people can't live close to where they work, the congestion that comes with that, and then more air pollution. Plus a general lack of diversity. The young (first-time home buyers) and the old (retirees) can't afford to live in those neighborhoods. So for all their affluence, these communities, ironically, are really deprived of a certain richness. 

 

 

 

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