U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-27-2018, 03:37 PM
 
Location: New England
1,924 posts, read 1,067,550 times
Reputation: 1682

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
It's so true. There's no other metro, with this kind of demand, like it. Even in Seattle, suburbs have been far more willing to build and expand without specific requirements. In Chicago, you see apartment complex after condo complex along major roads and the commuter rails. Even in the most upscale communities. Here? Only in the very inner ring suburbs do you see that.

On one hand, it does maintain a quiet charm. On the other, it causes a severe shortage and a hard-to-explain isolation of towns with close proximity to Boston.
Other parts of the country have more regional county wide governance. In Massachusetts governance is very localized in a town hall style. The municipalities in the area also tend to be very small compared to much of the country. Because of this people do have a larger voice in the issues. But a detrimental effect of this is that there is little to no region wide planning.

If it were counties making zoning decisions building/maintaining the roads and controlling the schools then we would definitively see less restrictive zoning.

But less restrictive zoning might hurt the character of the area yes, so I do understand that point of view. But you have to ask what's more important, being able to afford a place or being enjoying the "character" of the area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-27-2018, 04:57 PM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
Reputation: 29772
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
If the economics in the area support it yes. One example that I would use is the Chestnut Hill MBTA station. It's stupid to have large lot single family homes right on top of a rapid transit station.

Lots of towns in the area (between 495 and 128) also have zoning that requires each lot to be an acre. That type of "snob" zoning is widespread throughout the area.

I understand why it is widespread. People who own in suburban towns don't want additional development to clog up the schools/roads. But every town in the suburban Boston area thinks like this. Because of that we have a housing shortage.

That and a transit system that hasn't been noticeably expanded or improved in 40 years.

You are free to purchase one, tear it down, and try to do multi family housing.

I fully agree with better funding transit. Our transit is crazy cheap to use, and poorly funded. Congestion pricing could help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-27-2018, 05:52 PM
 
Location: New England
1,924 posts, read 1,067,550 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
You are free to purchase one, tear it down, and try to do multi family housing.
Not in Massachusetts. Between strict zoning and getting permits, plus neighborhood opposition to almost every project.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,805,356 times
Reputation: 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Not in Massachusetts. Between strict zoning and getting permits, plus neighborhood opposition to almost every project.
Quite correct. You don't really have much freedom in that regard. Surprised people don't know this. If it were that easy, we wouldn't have such high rents. I feel like I've said this 20x before, but nobody pays much attention.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 05:03 AM
 
Location: New England
1,924 posts, read 1,067,550 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
Quite correct. You don't really have much freedom in that regard. Surprised people don't know this. If it were that easy, we wouldn't have such high rents. I feel like I've said this 20x before, but nobody pays much attention.
People think small picture. Those apartments will increase traffic in MY neighborhood. Those additional students will flood MY schools. They don't think about the region wide lack of housing and how almost every neighborhood thinks like them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
1,605 posts, read 736,197 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
Quite correct. You don't really have much freedom in that regard. Surprised people don't know this. If it were that easy, we wouldn't have such high rents. I feel like I've said this 20x before, but nobody pays much attention.
If it were that easy, we'd all be very successful landlords.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 07:09 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
Reputation: 29772
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Not in Massachusetts. Between strict zoning and getting permits, plus neighborhood opposition to almost every project.


Have you tried? I see tear downs and building up all the time in many communities. The real reason it isn't happening isn't the permitting, it is the value. There isn't the profit to be made in buying a super expensive place and tearing it down, and then building another whole one. Many, if not most, of these towns are constantly adding units. It's non stop building wherever it is financially feasible. Heck, Belmont just added 300+ units in a couple of years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
1,605 posts, read 736,197 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Have you tried? I see tear downs and building up all the time in many communities. The real reason it isn't happening isn't the permitting, it is the value. There isn't the profit to be made in buying a super expensive place and tearing it down, and then building another whole one. Many, if not most, of these towns are constantly adding units. It's non stop building wherever it is financially feasible. Heck, Belmont just added 300+ units in a couple of years.
I can speak to the MetroWest, especially towns that sit between 95 and 495.. It has everything to do with zoning and permits. 2 bdr rentals start at ~$1700, and hit a ceiling around $2800 for new apartments. Yet, I can buy a beater on a large enough lot to support an apartment building lot for <$400k. So you're telling me that I couldnt turn a profit on a tri-level? I can rent each floor for $2500, so unless the tri-level is going to cost me $1.5M to build, I'm not sure that math agrees with you.

At least in the outer ring towns, it has everything to do with permitting. The towns would never, ever allow for a rental property in the middle of a neighborhood.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 07:48 AM
 
Location: New England
1,924 posts, read 1,067,550 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Have you tried? I see tear downs and building up all the time in many communities. The real reason it isn't happening isn't the permitting, it is the value. There isn't the profit to be made in buying a super expensive place and tearing it down, and then building another whole one. Many, if not most, of these towns are constantly adding units. It's non stop building wherever it is financially feasible. Heck, Belmont just added 300+ units in a couple of years.
Well I personally don't have enough capital available to build multi family apartment complexes, so no. Development tends to be a game where you need money to make money. But I will link to a bunch of examples of proposals getting shot down, even in Boston.

Zoning board listens to City Point neighbors, rejects multi-unit proposal that met zoning requirements | Universal Hub

Development which was within zoning rules shot down by neighborhood group opposition.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business...xVN/story.html

Neighbors blocked the redevelopment of a vacant school into condos. As a result the school is now being torn down and turned into parking.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/re...0bI/story.html

Next to a highway and within a proposed retail/mixed use development senior housing within it was shut down. And senior housing wouldn't even affect the schools so I don't really understand the opposition. Plus senior housing next to stores/restaurants/grocery stores would reduce the need for the seniors to drive.

I could probably come up with a hundred other articles with examples around the region of multi unit developments being shot down. Also could come up with examples of proposals being cut in size, both inside and outside of Boston. And I'm sure there are tons of other spots where developers would like to build but know they have no chance due to zoning/opposition so they don't even try.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 07:57 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
Reputation: 29772
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post

I could probably come up with a hundred other articles with examples around the region of multi unit developments being shot down. Also could come up with examples of proposals being cut in size, both inside and outside of Boston. And I'm sure there are tons of other spots where developers would like to build but know they have no chance due to zoning/opposition so they don't even try.

Sure, and you can come up with a hundred where multi unit places were built. So?


Zoning exists for a reason. A good reason. Personally, I don't think it is strong enough (Belmont built 298 units on what is a filled in wetland, that's not good). If people want to live in places with no or weak zoning, well, go ahead with all the problems that causes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top