Saturday, June 17, 2006

Age-restricted only for Wall?

From the NY Times:

Where Town Homes May Soon Be Rare

AS public opinion has generally turned against sprawl in New Jersey, big-lot residential zoning has mostly fallen out of favor in towns around the state.

Admittedly, there are still exclusive enclaves where one- or two-acre lots are the rule, and semirural areas where a four-acre lot, or even a six-acre lot, is the required minimum for a single house. But the New Urbanism style of building multiple units in clusters on smaller parcels in more densely populated areas is the trend most planners and developers are focusing on these days.
Here in the small town of Wall, there is a project that aims to install a New Urbanist design right in the midst of a six-acre-lot neighborhood.

Since most of the land available for development in Wall consists of eight small lots on the periphery, or land that lies within the central part of the community that is zoned for six acres per residential unit, Cedar Hollow's town houses may be a vanishing breed hereabouts.

"We think this is going to be the last one, except for the age-restricted projects that are under way here," said Paul R. DeBellis Jr. of Franklin Development Group, the West Paterson company building Cedar Hollow.

Mr. DeBellis, who is a principal of Franklin Development along with his father, Paul R. DeBellis Sr., said his company had vied to build more such projects on other sites, but found itself stymied by the six-acre-per-unit rule governing the available land in the central part of Wall Township. "We want to preserve the character of that part of town," said the township's planner, John Hoffmann.
There are more than a dozen age-restricted and assisted-living developments under construction in Wall; some have only a few units, others are larger, and two have more than 100 units, he said. These projects were approved over the last decade in a concerted effort to meet the township's state-mandated affordable housing requirements.


Blogger Metroplexual said...

I am reminded of the savings paradox. When everyone saves interest rates go down du to the glut of money. In the case of age restricted housing there will be a glut that will drive prices down all around.

6/17/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Yup, and towns where the car insurance rates are driven sky high by all the old people driving on the wrong side of the road.

6/17/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


Are you familiar with the Equine Paradox?

There are more horses asses in the world than there are horses.

6/17/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...


Good one.

6/17/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Massachusetts. Elderly housing has a lot of supporters here, because it (1) allows towns to meet their requirements to construct "affordable housing" under Chapter 40B (anti-snob-zoning, similar to Mount Laurel II) and (2) allows them to collect taxes on the improved property while not having to face families of child-bearing age putting more kids into the local schools.

6/17/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Was that swipe aimed at me?

All joking aside, large tracts of age restricted housing is bound to have all sorts of social ramifications down the line as will any form of social engineering (and this is an age related form of social engineering). This is very short term thinking and produces towns with an inbalanced population.
Just imaging 20 years down the line. Those young families currently exluded would be an older couple in their prime earning (and tax paying) years, perhaps with a 20 something at home working and saving. Those "active adults" would now be in their 70s and 80s, unable to downsize due to the glut of housing and unable to live comfortably in their current accomodations. Older people are more likely to vote. Savings on schools now may turn into vastly increased spending on seniors in the future.
It is always best to have an evenly balanced community.

6/17/2006 04:55:00 PM  
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