Message - Re: I have a great idea

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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on March 23, 2003 at 21:15:30:

In Reply to:  Re: I have a great idea posted by Joe G. on March 23, 2003 at 11:46:51:

Government involvement has banned affordable housing. More Government is not the answer.

Rather a loose over-generalization, I'd say.

Here in Oregon, "government" says that 'needed housing', which is defined in terms of affordability in proportion to a median income cannot be discriminated against in zoning, as a matter of state law.

So far, so good (at least in theory). But their method is to require that such "needed housing" can only be judged by "clear and objective" standards. Which rips jagged tears through the fabric of existing regulations, to which an out-the-blue new standard is suddenly applied. Even where the original intent may have been to be clear and objective, if the language doesn't meet new standards, it is liable to be thrown out in litigation.

So far, a bit messy. But then it gets really good. Developer land use attorneys construe a new and distant fragment of state law together with the "neede housing" statute, and on that basis claim that ALL housing is needed housing.

And so, under pressure from powerful, weathly interests, a reasonably honest little provision originally aimed to protect hopefully-affordable manufactured housing (a powerful (and fundmentally anti-architect) lobby in its own right) becomes a cleaver against whatever land use and zoing code those who can afford lots of lawyers wish to blow away.

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