Values in America include the choice by you and your family to live where you want to live, and that choice has been part of our cherished value system since its inception. If I/you want to relocate the only requirement is choice and enough dollars to support the transition. That includes moving from an urban community to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of suburban living.
If you have wondered whether the Federal Government and/or the California State Government plans to torpedo our suburban living lifestyle and to attempt to transplant into these communities’ characteristics of high-density urban living, wonder no more. It is here!
How will you feel when you wake up one day to find that federal or state government(s) mandates/forces you to relocate your living quarters into a high-rise-high-density cluster dwellings against your will? This may be because this type of housing units is all that is available since local, state, and federal governments are attempting to outlaw single family zoning and housing. How would you like to be forced to relocate into a quasi-independent living unit within a Section 8 federally sponsored housing project where you are one of the few who are paying your own way? How would you like to live among neighbors/members of society in the inner-city where 80% plus of their housing expense and family living expenses are supported by compulsory tax redistributions from you to enhance their lifestyles? Your obvious response would be, how could that ever happen here in the USA.
Cluster housing was originally defined as placement of housing near each other, reducing individual land and yard space in favor of increasing open space to enhance common area amenities. Larger areas of open space within the development form a buffer for adjacent land uses. Many developers prefer high-density or cluster zoning and housing to maximize density, space, and profits. Additionally, cluster housing with homeowner associations which are responsible for the maintenance of infrastructure.
Vertical high-density housing, sometimes referred to as stack-and-pack, refers to neighborhoods formed by building tightly packed multi-storied residential units, thereby allowing more efficient control, expense factors and much higher population density. Population densities can increase even more as the buildings become taller, thereby allowing for more units in a smaller ground space. Four to ten stories for high-density residential occupancy will be common in the future.
Suburban areas, on the other hand, consists primarily of low density residential, commercial, and industrial communities that are located away from urban areas but within commuting distance for employment. Suburbs communities usually have their own political and governmental services jurisdictions. Populations grow in suburbs when people want autonomy from the tightly controlled rules and hectic and congested lifestyles that exist in densely populated urban settings. Traffic congestion, commercial corridors, shopping, schooling, environmental issues, and freedoms that go with more land and open space make it worth the cost for people to commute into a city for work. Suburbs usually provide an overall higher standard of living for a comparable income than does a metro or urban lifestyle.
Benefits and detriments of living in urban areas with high-density cluster housing
- Lower cost per residential unit to install and maintain neighborhood infrastructure for governments.
- Lower cost per unit for public roads, services, and utilities.
- Attracts lawyers, financial services, entertainment venues, and hospitals.
- Property values tend to be flat or flatter.
- Public transportation and schools more likely.
- Ability to walk or ride a bicycle to the desired location.
- Access to multiple amenities within a community where density and diversity may add value and quality of life.
- Access to commercial activities such as sport events, concerts, churches, cafes, etc. are more available.
- More likely to be characterized by “multiculturalism”.
- Traffic congestion because of concentrated population.
- Hustle bustle lifestyles, parking hassles, lines at restaurants, retail stores, banks, and gas stations.
- Congestion in the shopping process, crowded schools, moving to and from any location.
- Less air and environmental quality including warmer climate.
- More likely for neighborhoods to transitional into urban blight.
- More crime per capita.
- Higher cost to manage school districts and college facilities.
- Social pressure due to density or closeness of housing units.
- Employees more likely to be unionized so public and private services cost more.
- Negative consequences of the neighborhood deterioration which disproportionately affects lower-income and disadvantaged households because they are less likely to have choice based upon limited finances.
- Loss of gentrification, that is changing the character of a neighborhood through the planned influx of more affluent residents and upscale businesses. While this process may increase the economic value of the neighborhood, it also drives poorer or disadvantaged residents out.
- Poorer or disadvantaged residents are forced into areas of limited job prospects, substandard housing and transportation, poor infrastructure, substandard public education, crime, and congestion.
Benefits and detriments of living in suburban communities.
- Diametric opposed to the above detriments of high density.
- Overall quality of life appears to be higher.
- More available land for dwelling and storage of things designated as important.
- Preference toward larger homes, more balconies, larger lawns, garages, and open space
- Space for family and neighborhood get-togethers.
- Community involvement tends to be easier to obtain and pay for.
- Distance to drive to work, shopping, and consumer services locations.
- Difficulty in managing public services, transportation, and infrastructure where costs needs to be allocated to a smaller grouping of homeowners and occupants of the community.
- Public services such as police, fire, hospitals, and specialized medical services are more spread out and less accessible.
- Specialized commercial enterprises are usually less available.
Suburban area residents tend to vote more conservative or independent than those in urban areas. They are a swing constituency in national elections. Depending on who is elected president in 2020, the result will take us in a direction which could be taken to welcome suburban living or to eliminate it all together. Abolishing suburbs may be politically expedient. The left has planned for an orchestrated federal takeover, transformation, and de facto urbanization of American suburbs.
President Obama issued a regulation known as AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing). The objective was to create progressive urban mini cities within the suburbs. Suburbs would be swallowed up by larger cities nearby, which would be subject to federal mandates to control zoning and development. This would include the elimination of single-family zoning and forced building of medium to high-density low-income housing, thereby creating mini urban styled downtowns. The objective is to replace the basic character of suburbs which will be swallowed up and function as part of larger cities. Losing local government control is the key to the destruction of the suburban lifestyle.
AFFH works by holding hostage the issuance U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD’s) Community Development Block Grants federal-planning demands. Suburbs will be prohibited from receiving millions of dollars in HUD grants unless they eliminate single-family zoning, install low and moderate cost housing and agree to consolidate and densify commercial and residential districts like stack-and-pack neighborhoods in urban areas. Highway funds may also be withheld. Any objections by local municipalities could get municipal leaders of the suburbs sued for discrimination by civil rights groups, or by the federal government.
Before this strategy could be implemented Trump won the presidency in 2016. He viewed this as a radical initiative, and therefore no effort was put forth to begin the strategy. Dr. Ben Carson who heads up HUD as Secretary has not gotten rid of this AFFH regulation. He just suspended and has not enforced the regulation. Dr Carson has tinkered with a version AFFH lite, but no conclusions have come forth.
Candidate Joe Biden has openly stated that as part of his progressive movement he will accelerate the AFFH process from day one to take over suburbia if he is elected president.
California’s Governor is also attempting to extinguish single unit zoning and force affordability of rental units to made available for lower income households. Of course, all the collectivism and socialist leaning legislation that he is attempting to implement must be paid for by the productive taxpayers. One may want to review AB 725, AB 1279, AB 1482, AB 2345, AB 3040, AB 3107, SB 330, SB 902, SB 995, SB 1079, SB 1085, SB 1120, SB 1385, etc. The transition to collectivism and socialism is sitting on our doorsteps. I am working on an article that will give an overview and status of each of these pieces of state legislation.
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