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Old 12-24-2013, 09:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,017 posts, read 102,674,652 times
Reputation: 33083

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
So what's wrong with people getting what they want? No different that someone paying extra for a larger home, a bigger lot, or a "luxury" home.
My point being more that a developer will tout whatever fad is current to make money. People should not get taken in by developers who claim to be "politically correct".
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:10 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,718,594 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
"Willingly pay" is a loaded claim.
People live places based on job, family, etc.

Price per square foot is meaningful only in a NU world - completely disregarding the size or value of the land. This is only meaningful in an environment where the lots are the same size and the construction of same or similar quality from house to house.

Folks in rural areas often have homes on parcels significantly larger than what you will find in an urban environment. The "price per square foot" is a rather meaningless comparison and fails to comprehend the size of the parcel one would have. I'll submit that in many cases the price of housing on a "per square foot of residential space" is higher in many rural areas than what you'll find in most of Austin because of the land component that you prefer to ignore. "Price per square foot" is a poor comparison that is useful only in tract housing built by the same or similar builders on same-sized lots. It means something only in the myopic view of NUs where homogeneity, conformity, and mindless mass repetition are the norm. I realize that recognizing individuality is problematic for NUs because it disrupts your "urban fabric". Tough. We aren't all herd animals.

I've seen real estate agents try to use "price per square foot" to bully homeowners into reducing prices for sale. Problem is that it isn't just the house that's for sale, it's the house and land. Unless your comparable is the same size lot, similar sized and construction house, don't bother using "price per square foot" as metric. The very use of that term indicates a myopic "urban" mentality.

Well call it what you want. Urbanism. Communitarianism. Agenda 21. Whatever. I'm not aware of NU being made "illegal". Virtually every local government with platting authority mandates "open space" and other elements that NUs are touting. Of course the "open space" is required to be privately owned and maintained which means forced imposition of HOAs.

You haven't identified anything that was "once legal, and has been made illegal, legal again." Not one. Urbanity forces premiums because the concentration of NIMBYs is higher and because the slothful city needs ways of generating revenues to sustain wasteful spending.

They tend to all suffer from failure to realize that correlation does not equate to causation. By manufacturing the trappings of "community" or "success" NUs proclaim that community and success therefore exist. However, these are all artificial trappings and end up being the opposite of the image they portray. "Reintroducing vitality" is code for taking property under claims of blight and then redeveloping them into mixed-use development (planned community) with condos and retail operations and something touted as "shared space".

Nothing but planned developments are permitted. Local government code statutes prohibit the provision of power, water, or other utilities to a subdivision of property for which plat approval is required. Plat approval won't be given unless the property has "open space" and other unwanted liabilities. These in turn force imposition of HOAs on virtually all new development. These places are not the result of consumer demand, they are the result of local government mandate. Claiming they are "illegal" is ridiculous. If anything, its the only way the vast majority of new housing is allowed to be built - subject to planned community and involuntary membership HOAs.

The "premium" you refer to may be the lesser of two evils. People's choice of housing is dictated by many variables. The fact that something costs more does not make it more desirable. That's a snob appeal tactic not one for rational people. Why do people buy tacky magazines at the checkout counter? I don't know but don't try to mandate a requirement that I purchase that junk along with grocery items at checkout.

Real estate hype is often much larger than reality. The hype has to be maintained at all costs. I've certainly seen places in Austin that are hyped - and the turnover is high. Austin itself is over-hyped - and the city will eventually have to pay the price for the hype. However, high prices do not mean that people enjoy living there. There are certainly plenty of places in Austin that are hyped. After people buy, reality sets in. Residents have to continue the hype so they can get out without losing their shirts. Real estate agents love it because of the commissions generated from the higher turnovers.

...and unless all the residents have the same needs/desires you will never come close. NUs seem to be single individuals or to not have families. Certainly it is not likely to have elementary school, middle school, high school, and the sports fields or other amenities associated with them all within walking distance for any sizeable population. The employers for the adults are not likely to be there. Consider adding grocery stores and other retailers and it becomes apparent that your dream is not an achievable reality nor a desirable one for the vast majority of the populace. Perhaps it would be appropriate for assisted living.

Your definition of "connected" and division of "communities" suffers from issues of granularity and tribalism. Community is a completely abstract and meaningless concept. Apparently you want to divide different geographic areas up as tribal territory under the mistaken belief that everyone in that area is part of the same "tribe" or is somehow not an equal to everyone else in the area. Perhaps you might recognize that your "community" should not be limited to pockets of homogenous territories. Similarly the people owning the properties should not be deemed to belong to individual, exclusive tribes based identified by which homogenous pocket they own property in.

As far as "connected" is concerned, Austin has done a very poor job of keeping up with transportation needs and the NU types have only sought to make things more difficult. Anti-car zealots try pushing their "anti car" design agendas in order to exacerbate the problem. The only "connection" I need is a nice wide road for getting out of Austin to another place that is "connected" by a road. According to an article in the Statesman today, it would appear that Austin needs to get with it to handle the anticipated growth in traffic instead of spending millions of dollars to purchase and convey no-growth easements in other counties to private entities at taxpayer expense:
Texas A&M traffic study paints bleak picture of future Austin-area traffic


Ah, ad hominem attacks. A tool of the weak minded. Perhaps you should just admit when your position is indefensible and arguments without merit?
yeah, sorry, I don't do Agenda 21 Alex Jones tin hatter debates. . . have fun in your fantasy world.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:23 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,958,188 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, in the US during the depression, the people that lived on farms had enough to eat while the city people went hungry (some of them). True story from both my mother and mother-in-law, who were kids during the depression and lived on farms.
Your anecdotes, as contrarian as they always seem to be, are indicative of a broader reality hardly ever.

The great depression destroyed food prices (and was a long, deflationary period in general) and tens of thousands of farm families either sold out while they could still recoup pennies on the dollar or they went bankrupt and lost their farms as a result. That's to say nothing of what the droughts and dust bowl of the mid-1930s did.

The 1930s was an awful time to be a farmer.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,423 posts, read 37,841,648 times
Reputation: 22584
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
Your anecdotes, as contrarian as they always seem to be, are indicative of a broader reality hardly ever.

The great depression destroyed food prices (and was a long, deflationary period in general) and tens of thousands of farm families either sold out while they could still recoup pennies on the dollar or they went bankrupt and lost their farms as a result. That's to say nothing of what the droughts and dust bowl of the mid-1930s did.

The 1930s was an awful time to be a farmer.

I'd heard what Katiana says about the depression, both anecdotally (mother lived in the city at that time, father lived in the country on a farm, the difference in impact of the depression on each of them was noticeable as far as being able to continue to eat, and eat well, was concerned) and otherwise. I'll have to spend some time pulling up the cites, but as I recall from my reading, Katiana is correct.


Drought, and the over farming of the land that preceded it that led to the Dust Bowl, was something else again.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,423 posts, read 37,841,648 times
Reputation: 22584
Well, real quick google turns up this to be going on with until there's more time:

In some ways farmers were better off than city and town dwellers. Farmers could produce much of their own food while city residents could not. Almost all farm families raised large gardens with vegetables and canned fruit from their orchards. They had milk and cream from their dairy cattle. Chickens supplied meat and eggs. They bought flour and sugar in 50-pound sacks and baked their own bread. In some families the farm wife made clothing out of the cloth from flour and feed sacks. They learned how to get by with very little money. But they had to pay their taxes and debts to the bank in cash. These were tough times on the farms.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:48 AM
 
5,707 posts, read 8,773,655 times
Reputation: 4928
Quote:
I'm an empty nester. I will NEVER move back to an urban environment if I have any choice at all in the matter. It would drive me stark raving mad to be forced to do so.
I wonder if my stepmother could have written that a dozen years ago. She has horses, too.

But now she and my dad are planning to move to a condo in the city - it was her idea. I look on it as "assisted living - lite" as the place has a concierge, there is a cafe nearby and easy restaurant delivery. There are a lot of older people in the building, but also a wide range of ages and a lot of temporary/executive rentals.

Note to new yorkers- yes the trend to living downtown is new in most of the country. 30 years ago it was unheard of in my mid size city - outside an elderly subsidized tower and townhouses of ill repute. Now the downtown living has exploded. As have the number of restaurants and bars. The aforementioned townhouse row has gone quite upscale.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
"Willingly pay" is a loaded claim.
People live places based on job, family, etc.

Price per square foot is meaningful only in a NU world - completely disregarding the size or value of the land. This is only meaningful in an environment where the lots are the same size and the construction of same or similar quality from house to house.

Folks in rural areas often have homes on parcels significantly larger than what you will find in an urban environment. The "price per square foot" is a rather meaningless comparison and fails to comprehend the size of the parcel one would have. I'll submit that in many cases the price of housing on a "per square foot of residential space" is higher in many rural areas than what you'll find in most of Austin because of the land component that you prefer to ignore. "Price per square foot" is a poor comparison that is useful only in tract housing built by the same or similar builders on same-sized lots. It means something only in the myopic view of NUs where homogeneity, conformity, and mindless mass repetition are the norm. I realize that recognizing individuality is problematic for NUs because it disrupts your "urban fabric". Tough. We aren't all herd animals.

I've seen real estate agents try to use "price per square foot" to bully homeowners into reducing prices for sale. Problem is that it isn't just the house that's for sale, it's the house and land. Unless your comparable is the same size lot, similar sized and construction house, don't bother using "price per square foot" as metric. The very use of that term indicates a myopic "urban" mentality.

Well call it what you want. Urbanism. Communitarianism. Agenda 21. Whatever. I'm not aware of NU being made "illegal". Virtually every local government with platting authority mandates "open space" and other elements that NUs are touting. Of course the "open space" is required to be privately owned and maintained which means forced imposition of HOAs.

You haven't identified anything that was "once legal, and has been made illegal, legal again." Not one. Urbanity forces premiums because the concentration of NIMBYs is higher and because the slothful city needs ways of generating revenues to sustain wasteful spending.

They tend to all suffer from failure to realize that correlation does not equate to causation. By manufacturing the trappings of "community" or "success" NUs proclaim that community and success therefore exist. However, these are all artificial trappings and end up being the opposite of the image they portray. "Reintroducing vitality" is code for taking property under claims of blight and then redeveloping them into mixed-use development (planned community) with condos and retail operations and something touted as "shared space".

Nothing but planned developments are permitted. Local government code statutes prohibit the provision of power, water, or other utilities to a subdivision of property for which plat approval is required. Plat approval won't be given unless the property has "open space" and other unwanted liabilities. These in turn force imposition of HOAs on virtually all new development. These places are not the result of consumer demand, they are the result of local government mandate. Claiming they are "illegal" is ridiculous. If anything, its the only way the vast majority of new housing is allowed to be built - subject to planned community and involuntary membership HOAs.

The "premium" you refer to may be the lesser of two evils. People's choice of housing is dictated by many variables. The fact that something costs more does not make it more desirable. That's a snob appeal tactic not one for rational people. Why do people buy tacky magazines at the checkout counter? I don't know but don't try to mandate a requirement that I purchase that junk along with grocery items at checkout.

Real estate hype is often much larger than reality. The hype has to be maintained at all costs. I've certainly seen places in Austin that are hyped - and the turnover is high. Austin itself is over-hyped - and the city will eventually have to pay the price for the hype. However, high prices do not mean that people enjoy living there. There are certainly plenty of places in Austin that are hyped. After people buy, reality sets in. Residents have to continue the hype so they can get out without losing their shirts. Real estate agents love it because of the commissions generated from the higher turnovers.

...and unless all the residents have the same needs/desires you will never come close. NUs seem to be single individuals or to not have families. Certainly it is not likely to have elementary school, middle school, high school, and the sports fields or other amenities associated with them all within walking distance for any sizeable population. The employers for the adults are not likely to be there. Consider adding grocery stores and other retailers and it becomes apparent that your dream is not an achievable reality nor a desirable one for the vast majority of the populace. Perhaps it would be appropriate for assisted living.

Your definition of "connected" and division of "communities" suffers from issues of granularity and tribalism. Community is a completely abstract and meaningless concept. Apparently you want to divide different geographic areas up as tribal territory under the mistaken belief that everyone in that area is part of the same "tribe" or is somehow not an equal to everyone else in the area. Perhaps you might recognize that your "community" should not be limited to pockets of homogenous territories. Similarly the people owning the properties should not be deemed to belong to individual, exclusive tribes based identified by which homogenous pocket they own property in.

As far as "connected" is concerned, Austin has done a very poor job of keeping up with transportation needs and the NU types have only sought to make things more difficult. Anti-car zealots try pushing their "anti car" design agendas in order to exacerbate the problem. The only "connection" I need is a nice wide road for getting out of Austin to another place that is "connected" by a road. According to an article in the Statesman today, it would appear that Austin needs to get with it to handle the anticipated growth in traffic instead of spending millions of dollars to purchase and convey no-growth easements in other counties to private entities at taxpayer expense:
Texas A&M traffic study paints bleak picture of future Austin-area traffic


Ah, ad hominem attacks. A tool of the weak minded. Perhaps you should just admit when your position is indefensible and arguments without merit?
This is a very loaded comment. It us entirely possible to build a mixed use neighborhood for a range of family Tyrone's. I live in one now. It is fairly evenly mixed with families and singles of all ages. There are several schools, of varying quality with in a mile or so. There are grocery stores from posh to discount, and restaurants of the same mix. Some people drive and some rely on transit. The buildings closer to the Main Street tend to charge monthly for a dedicated parking spot. The ones a little further away tend to include parking for free in ecchange for a 2-3 block longer walk to Main Street and more bus lines.

It is one of the mire popular neighborhoods in my city, likely because any family type can find a home.

Unfortunately many more people people are looking for similar neighborhoods and with thus shift, prices have increased 50%, even during this downturn and other areas in the city that are car oriented have had housing values that remain flat. The other adjacent areas with reasonable transit access are increasing in cost as well, and long decimated commercial areas are suddenly thriving with pockets of life.

This tells me there is a lot more opportunity than people care to admit for new urbanism. And don't forget, I live in a city plagued with a terrible reputation. I can imagine the scale on other areas that aren't fighting bad PR.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:03 PM
 
8,980 posts, read 8,122,996 times
Reputation: 19502
Quote:
People are social creatures by nature, and the suburbs do not fulfill our social needs. They are inherently antisocial, as more of us are beginning to realize. They also promote an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.
Boy are those statements wrong.

I have lived in major cities, in burbs, and out in the country. The most anti social place to live, is the big city. In the country, you have the healthiest most friendly people of anywhere. The burbs do not promote a sedentary lifestyle, as maintaining the property is anti sedentary lifestyle. People don't hole up in their home like people do in the inner city apartments.

The reason they are cutting the size of allowable lots, and heavier density building, is for two reasons.

1: The lack of land to expand on. Silicon Valley is a good example, and that is the reason the prices for real estate are so high.

2: Cost of putting in and maintaining utilities, roads, etc. Cities like the higher density, for that reason alone.

It costs a lot less to develop high density for those two reasons. If you can cut the amount of street, sidewalk, water, electric, gas lines, etc. in half or even more, you have helped lower the cost of developing and the cost to maintain these portions of the development.
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,703,335 times
Reputation: 26671
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Boy are those statements wrong.

I have lived in major cities, in burbs, and out in the country. The most anti social place to live, is the big city. In the country, you have the healthiest most friendly people of anywhere. The burbs do not promote a sedentary lifestyle, as maintaining the property is anti sedentary lifestyle. People don't hole up in their home like people do in the inner city apartments.

The reason they are cutting the size of allowable lots, and heavier density building, is for two reasons.

1: The lack of land to expand on. Silicon Valley is a good example, and that is the reason the prices for real estate are so high.

2: Cost of putting in and maintaining utilities, roads, etc. Cities like the higher density, for that reason alone.

It costs a lot less to develop high density for those two reasons. If you can cut the amount of street, sidewalk, water, electric, gas lines, etc. in half or even more, you have helped lower the cost of developing and the cost to maintain these portions of the development.
This is a false pretense. Unfortunately when most people move to the suburbs it is combined with a long commute. This by nature decreases sociability. Home is a retreat from all people outside of your household members. Additionally people with long commutes do not have time to participate in their community or have a garden. Suburbs are also designed to minimize incidental activity outside of the home with culdesacs and lack of sidewalks.

People socialize when they have time to do so and people they care about in close proximity. The rise of the 2 working parent household also cuts down on the social bonds. Kids have nannies and day care instead if play dates where parents hang out with other parents. Parent/kid time is spent shuttling kids from lesson to lesson or caregiver to caregiver.

Generally, people who have stressors huddle up alone in their homes suburban or not. Cities can easily encourage incidental social interactions since most errands are done on foot. There is a diminishing return as lots get larger where due to lots of space incidental go fact with your neighbors is pretty limited in a commuter suburb.

The biggest problem with low density and sprawl is the sheer amount of recourses required to maintain them. Especially on the urban fringes. And fewer and fewer people want or can afford the high gas prices or time costs of enduring a long commute with limited connectivity.

We are running low and resources and space, and people's preferences are changing away from the 2000 sqft, 1/2 acre lot in the outskirts of town lifestyle.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:37 PM
 
541 posts, read 721,302 times
Reputation: 737
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Probably gas prices and/or car dependence both playing a big factor in this. Some may view car dependence or being strictly car dependent as a pain in terms of costs.

I also think that it isn't so much about just the urban aspect, but more about the walkability aspect. There are still walkable neighborhoods within city limits that are comprised of single family homes. Some may even like suburbs that are walkable and that are relatively more dense than the stereotypical suburb as well. So, I think that this trend is practical and can be fulfilled in different ways.
That's the exact reasons why I find it practical. Less car dependence (I spend way too much on gas per month), wanting to go outside just to take a walk to somewhere, and don't like the suburban sprawl.
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