Tuesday, September 4, 2007
What happens when exclusionary zoning meets a housing equity bubble, which in turns meets a boom in immigration and single-adult households? What happens is that huge houses are built, which then turn into de facto rooming houses for single adults. The Washington Post calls the phenomenon “McMansions Turn ‘McApartments.’”
This effect is already resulting in calls for tighter limits on the sizes of houses and tougher enforcement of laws restricting the number of non-related persons who may live in a “single-family” house. These calls will be especially loud in places where large numbers of immigrants (many of whom migrated to the area to work in the housing construction industry) are living in the big houses. After all, since the days of Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926), American law has viewed the apartment building in a residential area as a “parasite.”
We are likely to hear less frequently, however, the reasonable plea that the exurbs –- where so many immigrants and other single-adult households now live, because this is where the jobs are –- desperately need a greater supply of apartment housing. Our exclusionary zoning laws keep them out. No where else does government regulation work so powerfully against the forces of the market to restrain the happiness of the less powerful, in favor of the more powerful.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Uber Goes to the State House Seeking Preemption of Local Government Control
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- New Land Use Articles on SSRN
- What to make of the fierce new debate over the efficacy of California's energy codes?
- The W&L Top 100 Law Review Rankings and the Land Use Law Scholar
- CFP: 2015 Future of Places Conference (lead-in to Habitat III) in Stockholm: Deadline of April 15
- Water Down Under: A Report from Australia by Barbara Cosens: Post 7: Conjunctive Management Down Under