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Old 05-28-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,764 posts, read 16,781,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
This is about the 100th time I've said this, but. . .

Lots in the west tend to be much smaller than lots in the east. Even in Omaha and Minneapolis, lots tend to be small.
Or for people to prefer empirical facts to ignore there's always
http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/malotsizesold.pdf

Average lot size in the West was 9694 square feet in 2010 (new construction).
Average lot size in the Northeast? 32,955.

Medians were 6648 vs 15,249.

Gotta forgive that East Coasters. Where they live, the 1/4 acre lot is a normal lot size and actually on the small end. In the Western US, however, that's not the case. But to be fair the poster you were responding to never said it was. He just said there were a lot of small lots in the West.

To flip that around, if I went to an east coast Realtor and just told them I wanted a smaller lot and they kept taking me to things that were almost a quarter acre, it wouldn't really be fair to be annoyed. To them a quarter acre IS a smallish lot. How are they to know, without anymore info, that I mean something under 6000?

Last edited by Malloric; 05-28-2013 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:38 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: NYC
46,051 posts, read 43,422,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Or for people to prefer empirical facts to ignore there's always
http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/malotsizesold.pdf

Average lot size in the West was 9694 square feet in 2010 (new construction).
Average lot size in the Northeast? 32,955.

Medians were 6648 vs 15,249.
Though that's new construction. Most don't live in new construction (Long Island, for example is mainly 50s and 60s construction with some older and a bit newer). I posted median lot sizes here. The denser, coastal metros have a large fraction living with very in multi-unit dwellings with very little lot sizes. But in general, very large lots (1/2+ acre) are more common in the east, which are yes, rather bad at gobbling up open space and farmland while housing few people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Some stats:

For the NYC metro (includes city and suburbs within NY state) median lot size is 0.23 acres; 15% of housing units had one acre or more, 29% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 37% of all housing units.

For the Boston metro, median lot size is 0.40 acres; 26% of housing units had one acre or more, 15% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 52% of housing units.

For the Pittsburgh metro, median lot size is 0.34 acres; 23% of housing units had one acre or more, 20% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 81% of housing units.

For the Denver metro, median lot size is 0.20 acres; 7% of housing units had one acre or more, 20% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 71% of housing units.

For the DC metro, median lot size is 0.32 acres; 17% of housing units had one acre or more, 18% less than 1/8 acre. This only includes housing units that are not in multi-unit buildings (not sure if attached), which is 68% of housing units.

So yes, Pittsburgh has a slightly larger lot size than DC. The likely reason you may have thought Pittsburgh feels like it has smaller lots is the smaller lots are more common among older homes, when you lived there. Boston "wins" in having the biggest lots, though at the other extreme it has a relatively high amount of multi-family + small lot single-unit homes.

from

American Housing Survey (AHS) - Metropolitan Area Summary Data - People and Households - U.S. Census Bureau
I don't think I posted it, but I remember from the stats that the San Francisco and Los Angeles metros had the smallest median lot sizes (0.17 acre or so).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
To flip that around, if I went to an east coast Realtor and just told them I wanted a smaller lot and they kept taking me to things that were almost a quarter acre, it wouldn't really be fair to be annoyed. To them a quarter acre IS a smallish lot. How are they to know, without anymore info, that I mean something under 6000?
Depends on where. Under a 1/4 acre isn't hard to find in many parts of Long Island, or even close to 6000 square feet. My parent's first house (where I lived till I was 7) had 5000-6000 square feet. These lots are between 4000-5000 square feet:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=new+h...,72.09,,0,2.24
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:58 PM
Status: "Happy New Year!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,699 posts, read 105,090,230 times
Reputation: 34184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Or for people to prefer empirical facts to ignore there's always
http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/malotsizesold.pdf

Average lot size in the West was 9694 square feet in 2010 (new construction).
Average lot size in the Northeast? 32,955.

Medians were 6648 vs 15,249.

Gotta forgive that East Coasters. Where they live, the 1/4 acre lot is a normal lot size and actually on the small end. In the Western US, however, that's not the case. But to be fair the poster you were responding to never said it was. He just said there were a lot of small lots in the West.

To flip that around, if I went to an east coast Realtor and just told them I wanted a smaller lot and they kept taking me to things that were almost a quarter acre, it wouldn't really be fair to be annoyed. To them a quarter acre IS a smallish lot. How are they to know, without anymore info, that I mean something under 6000?
Well, the poster said in parentheses no less, "(And yes there are lots of small lots in the west, too)". The meaning I took from that was, sort of "well, the lots in the west are big, but yeah, there are lots of small lots there, too. The reality of the situation is that in metro Denver 1/4 acre (~10,000 sf which is how lots are measured here) is considered "very large". A half acre would be considered huge. It's only in the far out suburban areas that people live on acreage. On the Denver forum, we are constantly being asked where someone could buy say, 5 acres and have a mini-farm, etc. The answer is, "not in metro Denver".
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,753 posts, read 12,537,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, the poster said in parentheses no less, "(And yes there are lots of small lots in the west, too)". The meaning I took from that was, sort of "well, the lots in the west are big, but yeah, there are lots of small lots there, too. The reality of the situation is that in metro Denver 1/4 acre (~10,000 sf which is how lots are measured here) is considered "very large". A half acre would be considered huge. It's only in the far out suburban areas that people live on acreage. On the Denver forum, we are constantly being asked where someone could buy say, 5 acres and have a mini-farm, etc. The answer is, "not in metro Denver".
I wonder how much of this has do to with watering requirements for a lawn of that size? I mean, I'm sure the zoning requirements are set due to other factors, but water may be a biggie.

That said, I'd expect that water isn't a huge concern in the Pacific Northwest. Are lots similarly small there?
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:38 PM
Status: "Happy New Year!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
88,699 posts, read 105,090,230 times
Reputation: 34184
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I wonder how much of this has do to with watering requirements for a lawn of that size? I mean, I'm sure the zoning requirements are set due to other factors, but water may be a biggie.

That said, I'd expect that water isn't a huge concern in the Pacific Northwest. Are lots similarly small there?
I think the reason lots are small in metro Denver is that more houses can be built in a given area if the lots are kept small. Sometimes they are "sold" as water-efficient. However, as I said, lots are small in Omaha and suburban Minneapolis as well.

I have no idea about lot size in the PNW; I haven't spent much time there.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:30 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: NYC
46,051 posts, read 43,422,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I wonder how much of this has do to with watering requirements for a lawn of that size? I mean, I'm sure the zoning requirements are set due to other factors, but water may be a biggie.

That said, I'd expect that water isn't a huge concern in the Pacific Northwest. Are lots similarly small there?
For Seattle, from the same link, the median lot size is 0.25 acre (for Denver, 0.20 acre) and 15% have lots > 1+ acre. So, not as extreme as many east coast metros, but somewhat larger than Denver.

For the Boston, the large lots of the outer metro is partly political. All land is in incorporated, so as suburban development encroached on formerly rural towns, the towns passed laws to have a minimum lot size to maintain the rural character. Of course, it's not rural, but they can do an impression of feeling rural.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=acton...,91.77,,0,2.59

Well, maybe. Note the traffic.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:24 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,059,860 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
This is a sincere, genuine question on the part of someone who has no academic credentials in urban planning. Is there a tacit understanding in urban planning circles that density is desirable? I do get that impression from the admittedly limited reading I have done in this forum.
At least on this forum, if preferred density was viewed as a spectrum, I think that you'd see three spikes: post-war suburban development (low density), pre-war development (medium), and "urban" (high density) with people in between and at both ends (ultra-low/exurban/rural, ultra-high). I doubt there's a single, majority viewpoint here.
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