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Old 03-24-2014, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,083 posts, read 102,815,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
What I find striking from Kotkin is his premise that people prefer single family homes and will only live in multifamily because they can't afford single family homes. This is certainly true for some but it is not true for all. I can afford a rather sizable single family home in the burbs but prefer to live in a small condo in a tower in a highly walkable area.
We are sorting ourselves in this country by state, by city and even by where one lives in each city or county based on what we want. The struggle comes when each of us envisions an infrastructure in support of what we want.
Count me among those who say that urban dwellers pay more than their fare share of property taxes because:
  1. Values tend to be higher on properties, leading to higher property taxes
  2. Infrastructure in support of an urban dwellers life is more highly shared and efficient.
  3. Urban areas are basically subsidizing suburban areas while suburbanites often complain about the very government structure that plays (and pays) to their advantage.
I'd ask Mr Kotkin: "Which is the more sustainable model?" and "Do we just continue to build what people want despite the fact that we, in total, can't afford to sustain it?"
Glad you told us how much money you have!

Are you single?
Do you have kids?
Are they in school?

Those are all issues that drive (no pun intended) people to the suburbs. Every "city" forum I have even been on here at CD has newcomers asking about the schools when they have kids. No one wants to send their kids to a crap school. Most people don't want their kids cooped up in a condo either. They'd like to have a yard for their kids to play in. You don't always have time to take them to a park and supervise them there. With a yard, you can supervise from your kitchen window.

Yesterday we were down in Denver. We saw some new condos being built on a former factory site. The view was not exactly exhilarating. I told DH the people that buy/rent these places must be crazy to think that's so great. That's what legalizing marijuana will do, LOL!

This subsidization has been discussed many times before. It's a two way street.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,177 posts, read 2,096,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
First it might be helpful to provide some numbers demonstrating that people are leaving those states, rather than having us accept that it's a true statement without evidence?
I don't know about all the states in the northeast, but it's clear that the trend for quite a few years has been a net migration from California. Here's one source:

Restless America: state-to-state migration in 2012 | vizynary

Quote:
Originally Posted by never-more View Post
Reading any thread from those forums, you will notice a general theme that one of the push factors is high housing prices, specifically single-family housing. Now, many of these areas also have implemented strategies aimed at curtailing urban sprawl. So are smart growth plans pushing people trying to pursue the idealistic 'American dream' of a suburban home and cars away from these areas? Of course, there is other factors such as taxes, but we're focusing on this single issue.
Southern California may be unique, but here the problem for many is that the sprawl has grown so much that in order to get an affordable home many face really ugly commutes. In saying that I don't mean to imply that "smart growth" policies would have made the difference, only that the reality of the housing market is that you need to spend a lot to live near the major employment centers.

Obviously, there are many other factors driving people out of California. It might even be true that high cost of housing is not the predominant factor. We plan to leave in a few years when we retire, and we own a nice home in a nice area, so that's not one of the issues for us.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,757,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I'd ask Mr Kotkin: "Which is the more sustainable model?" and "Do we just continue to build what people want despite the fact that we, in total, can't afford to sustain it?"
The other question....are we sure that everyone wants this? I surely don't and never have. But there are not very many places in my region that offer what I want, and I can only afford a small portion of them, even though by most definitions I am doing OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Glad you told us how much money you have!

Are you single?
Do you have kids?
Are they in school?

Those are all issues that drive (no pun intended) people to the suburbs. Every "city" forum I have even been on here at CD has newcomers asking about the schools when they have kids. No one wants to send their kids to a crap school. Most people don't want their kids cooped up in a condo either. They'd like to have a yard for their kids to play in. You don't always have time to take them to a park and supervise them there. With a yard, you can supervise from your kitchen window.

Yesterday we were down in Denver. We saw some new condos being built on a former factory site. The view was not exactly exhilarating. I told DH the people that buy/rent these places must be crazy to think that's so great. That's what legalizing marijuana will do, LOL!

This subsidization has been discussed many times before. It's a two way street.
Well there are 2 things to consider. Maybe people with kids want a single family home (or maybe not). But the number of people who are singles, DINKs, childless by choice or adults who no longer have kids at home are increasing significantly. So we do need different types of housing to accommodate these people, but we keep only building housing for people with 2 kids and a dog.

Ten things planners need to know about demographics and the future real estate market | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

I can't seem to find the stat now, but only something like 20-30% of new households will have children in them very soon. So...... this means values for neighborhood amenities etc can feasibly be different considering the demographic is different.

The idea of getting married at 22 or 24, having kids by 30 isn't so prevalent anymore. About 1/3 of the people I know do not want kids at all and have actively chosen not to have them (people in their 30s and in some cases 40s).
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,851,659 times
Reputation: 11149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Glad you told us how much money you have!

Are you single?
Do you have kids?
Are they in school?

Those are all issues that drive (no pun intended) people to the suburbs. Every "city" forum I have even been on here at CD has newcomers asking about the schools when they have kids. No one wants to send their kids to a crap school. Most people don't want their kids cooped up in a condo either. They'd like to have a yard for their kids to play in. You don't always have time to take them to a park and supervise them there. With a yard, you can supervise from your kitchen window.

Yesterday we were down in Denver. We saw some new condos being built on a former factory site. The view was not exactly exhilarating. I told DH the people that buy/rent these places must be crazy to think that's so great. That's what legalizing marijuana will do, LOL!

This subsidization has been discussed many times before. It's a two way street.
My point is not about how much money I have but rather the disparity between the price of housing in the urban areas and the suburban ones. Prices are so low per s.f. in the burbs that I can get 4 times as much space for essentially the same price. That housing size, land area and the nature of the overall development model is an infrastructure hog that continues to need maintenance as it ages and it certainly won't get that money from the property taxes that are assessed based on "value". It's "perfect" if you ask me. You get more and pay less initially and over time while putting the tax burden on others.

I am in my post-children years (early 50s), but my next door neighbors just had their second child and chose to live in the building after they had their first kid. So, in effect, they are not "stuck" in the condo....they chose that lifestyle. They have a larger condo than I do (mine is 850 sf) so they could afford even more in the burbs if that was their choice. In fact, there are dozens upon dozens of kids of all ages in the building and I dare say that all the families live here by choice.

As for the two way street that you state about subsidization, please explain what you mean because I have never seen any analysis that would suggest that suburban housing in a city actually subsidizes the urban ones (one to one). This may have been true when cities' cores were decaying, values were depressed and were mostly housing the poor and destitute who couldn't afford to "get out". However, even then, the high density nature of the housing was still having taxes paid by slum lords. Certainly many cities have a larger stock of suburban type housing and pay a lot of taxes but they also suck up land and infrastructure disproportional to their numbers. Just look at most fast growing American cities since WWII. You'll see their land areas (and infrastructure) increased at much faster rates than their population: causing the density to go down. This trend is now slowly reversing in many cities and the suburban areas have the most to benefit from it financially in operating costs; yet they still complain about supporting growth in their cities' cores and providing any new infrastructure that will make that viable. This is despite the fact that all new infrastructure is required for all new suburban expansion.

In the end, we can't build a train or mass transit system but we can continue to build more roads, more sewer system, more parks, more power grid, etc. in this country for single family homes that won't provide the taxes to sustain them.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:12 PM
 
3,948 posts, read 4,061,490 times
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Quote:
saying that I don't mean to imply that "smart growth" policies would have made the difference,
I'm pretty sure that CA's population is still growing, not shrinking, but anyways I think 'smart growth' and just general densification would really help improve the coastal areas a lot (and the affordibiltity). There are tons of space-wasting garden apartments that really should have been upsized into brownstones or tower type buildings.

There are also stripmall developments everywhere with huge parking lots that should be upsized - I was passing through Laguna Beach (a relatively ritzy area), and ate at a stripmall where I'm pretty sure the fancy cars parked outside cost more to build than the strip center did. The math on a stripmall parking lot overlooking the ocean can't work out if you are asking sfh's in worse areas for $600k+ that don't have ocean views.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,083 posts, read 102,815,223 times
Reputation: 33147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
My point is not about how much money I have but rather the disparity between the price of housing in the urban areas and the suburban ones. Prices are so low per s.f. in the burbs that I can get 4 times as much space for essentially the same price. That housing size, land area and the nature of the overall development model is an infrastructure hog that continues to need maintenance as it ages and it certainly won't get that money from the property taxes that are assessed based on "value". It's "perfect" if you ask me. You get more and pay less initially and over time while putting the tax burden on others.

I am in my post-children years (early 50s), but my next door neighbors just had their second child and chose to live in the building after they had their first kid. So, in effect, they are not "stuck" in the condo....they chose that lifestyle. They have a larger condo than I do (mine is 850 sf) so they could afford even more in the burbs if that was their choice. In fact, there are dozens upon dozens of kids of all ages in the building and I dare say that all the families live here by choice.

As for the two way street that you state about subsidization, please explain what you mean because I have never seen any analysis that would suggest that suburban housing in a city actually subsidizes the urban ones (one to one). This may have been true when cities' cores were decaying, values were depressed and were mostly housing the poor and destitute who couldn't afford to "get out". However, even then, the high density nature of the housing was still having taxes paid by slum lords. Certainly many cities have a larger stock of suburban type housing and pay a lot of taxes but they also suck up land and infrastructure disproportional to their numbers. Just look at most fast growing American cities since WWII. You'll see their land areas (and infrastructure) increased at much faster rates than their population: causing the density to go down. This trend is now slowly reversing in many cities and the suburban areas have the most to benefit from it financially in operating costs; yet they still complain about supporting growth in their cities' cores and providing any new infrastructure that will make that viable. This is despite the fact that all new infrastructure is required for all new suburban expansion.

In the end, we can't build a train or mass transit system but we can continue to build more roads, more sewer system, more parks, more power grid, etc. in this country for single family homes that won't provide the taxes to sustain them.
Well, good for them. For all we see people post stuff like that, for the most part, city schools have declining enrollments. People are voting with their feet.

I've never seen an analysis that shows the opposite, either. Here in metro Denver, where there are about 6 suburban residents for every city resident, we all pay for the transit district which has better service in the city, no doubt. We have light rail in many parts of the metro, into/out of the city, but the transit district ran out of money before it built the rail in the NW corridor, so we're getting BRT instead. Please post a link showing suburbanites complaining about "supporting growth in their cities' cores". Who has complained about providing any new infrastructure that will make that viable? Links, links, links, please. Most of us in suburbia really aren't spending a lot of time thinking about you guys. We have our lives to live.

Metro Denver is building a lot of trains (though not to the NW corridor) and transit systems for the city. What on earth are you talking about?

And who says suburbanites won't provide the taxes to sustain roads, sewers, parks, power grid (I think that's actually the power company's job, but whatever) for single family homes? Where do you get the idea that the city is providing any of this for the suburbs?
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,605,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, good for them. For all we see people post stuff like that, for the most part, city schools have declining enrollments. People are voting with their feet.
This also has to do with people having smaller families, especially those that live in more urban areas. That too will lead to a decline in the number of enrollments. That doesn't necessarily mean people are leaving the city to raise children.

Quote:
I've never seen an analysis that shows the opposite, either. Here in metro Denver, where there are about 6 suburban residents for every city resident, we all pay for the transit district which has better service in the city, no doubt. We have light rail in many parts of the metro, into/out of the city, but the transit district ran out of money before it built the rail in the NW corridor, so we're getting BRT instead. Please post a link showing suburbanites complaining about "supporting growth in their cities' cores". Who has complained about providing any new infrastructure that will make that viable? Links, links, links, please. Most of us in suburbia really aren't spending a lot of time thinking about you guys. We have our lives to live.

Metro Denver is building a lot of trains (though not to the NW corridor) and transit systems for the city. What on earth are you talking about?

And who says suburbanites won't provide the taxes to sustain roads, sewers, parks, power grid (I think that's actually the power company's job, but whatever) for single family homes? Where do you get the idea that the city is providing any of this for the suburbs?
Also, nowhere in his post did it make any mention of suburbanites complaining about supporting growth in their cities' cores in rnc2mbfl's post.

Basically it seems like neither of you two have seen any analysis for or against.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:15 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,120,818 times
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Let's not another subsidization argument. It's not really part of the thread topic and it's been done to death.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,083 posts, read 102,815,223 times
Reputation: 33147
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
This also has to do with people having smaller families, especially those that live in more urban areas. That too will lead to a decline in the number of enrollments. That doesn't necessarily mean people are leaving the city to raise children.



Also, nowhere in his post did it make any mention of suburbanites complaining about supporting growth in their cities' cores in rnc2mbfl's post.

Basically it seems like neither of you two have seen any analysis for or against.
Actually, I posted some links a while back that show that people do leave the city for the burbs for schools. You know d*mn well people leave the city to raise kids. And if you post on ANY city thread, you know that schools are a major concern of families when they relocate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Let's not another subsidization argument. It's not really part of the thread topic and it's been done to death.
OK, but I will suggest urbanlife78 read rnc2mbfl's post closely.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,605,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Actually, I posted some links a while back that show that people do leave the city for the burbs for schools. You know d*mn well people leave the city to raise kids. And if you post on ANY city thread, you know that schools are a major concern of families when they relocate.



OK, but I will suggest urbanlife78 read rnc2mbfl's post closely.
I did read his post several times, and nowhere in it did is say suburbanites complain about the growth of the core. I think you might be reading too much into his post to find something that isn't there.


I am sure there are people who leave cities to raise children, but that doesn't mean people aren't raising children in cities or that there aren't people moving to cities to raise children. I am sure there are lots of people raising children within Denver over moving out to the suburbs.

You can't think of everything in absolutes.
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