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Archive for August 19th, 2011

Life Imitates The Third VIII

From Forbes, California Wages War On Single-Family Homes:

In recent years, homeowners have been made to feel a bit like villains rather than the victims of hard times, Wall Street shenanigans and inept regulators.  Instead of being praised for braving the elements, suburban homeowners have been made to feel responsible for everything from the Great Recession to obesity to global warming.

In California, the assault on the house has gained official sanction. Once the heartland of the American dream, the Golden State has begun implementing new planning laws designed to combat global warming. These draconian measures could lead to a ban on the construction of private residences, particularly on the suburban fringe. The new legislation’s goal is to cram future generations of Californians into multi-family apartment buildings, turning them from car-driving suburbanites into strap-hanging urbanistas.

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Ultimately the density agenda reflects less a credible strategy to reduce GHG [greenhouse gases] than a push among planners to “force” Californians, as one explained to me, out of their homes and into apartments. In pursuit of their “cramming” agenda planners have  also    have enlisted powerful allies – or perhaps better understood as ” useful idiots” —  developers and speculators who see profit in  the eradication of the single family  by forcibly boosting the value of urban core  properties.

From The Third, Chapter 2

[Ransom] stopped in what had once been a bedroom. The walls were painted pink with big brown polka dots. The color combination was not to his liking. Still, he stood in the middle of the room and wondered who had lived in the house over the last hundred years. He wondered whether the home had seemed small and cramped or large and spacious to its occupants. He felt a twinge of jealously. This home was easily twice as large as his apartment. It probably boasted eighteen hundred square feet. Granted, he had recycled homes twice this size, but still, he’d love to be able to give his boys their own rooms and paint the walls their favorite colors.
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Ransom headed to the backyard. . . . Ransom stood up and looked around the yard. It was about a quarter acre in size. He found his mind drifting back to his two boys and wondered how they’d enjoy having this much space to run around. The play area next to their apartment building was crowded with kids, and there was always a fight for the swings or other playground equipment. But if they lived in this house, his two boys would have their own place to play. He stood for a minute and imagined them running around the yard, chasing each other and playing on the swings. The thought of his boys made him smile.

From Chapter 11

[Ransom speaking]

“Sometimes I feel this whole city is on the brink of chaos. We live cramped together, stacked on top of one another like rats in a lab. We spend most of our weekends standing in line to buy half-rotten food. People treat each other like animals in a survival-of-the-fittest contest. Sometimes I wish we lived in one of those homes I recycle—one with more living space and a yard.” He turned so he was looking at Teya. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra bedroom, a fruit tree or two, and maybe a little garden? There’s a huge cherry tree at the house I’m taking down now. I don’t think I’ve had a cherry since James was born. I want a giant orchard with enough peaches, cherries, and apples to feed our family and share with others. Doesn’t that sound good to you?”

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Hat Tip: HitCoffee

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