I wasn’t really sure where to put this, I considered american collapse but it’s not the country falling, it’s just the same shit, needing to be called out for what it is. Also as I get older I start to have stronger and stronger opinions on architecture.
Anyway, ProPublica recently did a really good piece on zoning in the area I live, Southwest CT.
I really feel like this practice should be common knowledge, and around here it may very well be but I’d rather state the obvious than let it go unsaid:
Rich places use zoning laws to enforce de facto segregation: You can see this borne out all over the country, there was a great example in Yonkers like 20 years ago, and the thing happening today in the article listed above is literally the same shit.
To be explicit, here’s the general gist of (one of) the way this shakes down: Developers wanna build housing where people are crammed closer together, because more people with lower rents makes more money to the owner than less people with higher rents. So they buy land and try and build these houses that have more units in them (often called low income housing).
What follows is a myriad of things but all of them have the same goal: Stop the developer from doing that. Sometimes it’s NIMBY (not in my backyard) activism. Sometimes it’s a legal challenge from the city on the basis of like emergency access, sometimes it’s denying the building proposal, sometimes it’s just the city buying the land out from under the developer and turning it into a community garden or some shit.
Doesn’t really matter how it happens. It always happens for the same reason. Racism:
William Woermer, resident of Branford
“But don’t get too much of that riffraff in. There will be a lot of riffraff. Then we go onto, with a project like this, you need security guards in the area.”
First Selectman of Oxford CT, George Temple
“I’m sure they could have their little parking spaces, but somebody throws a party, or it’s Cinco de Mayo or something else and pretty soon you can’t park there. Well, you also can’t bring an ambulance there and you can’t bring a fire engine there”
There’s a whole other bunch of shit I wanna cover in this thread, shit like parking minimums, trains, fourplexes, bang for your buck building size, housing density, and yeah, other aspects of zoning like mixed use zoning, rather than just the cases where it’s used as a weapon.