Thursday, March 24, 2011


We somehow stumbled upon this heartfelt op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Daily News that made us aware of an important issue: The City of Los Angeles is considering an ordinance to outzone sober-living homes: "recovery homes" consisting mostly of people who have completed inpatient drug treatment programs. As the author of the op-ed writes, the proposed "Community Care Facilities Ordinance" would declare thousands of single-family homes in Los Angeles "boarding houses," and thereby ban them in single-family neighborhoods: "The ill-fated logic is that such uses are not appropriate for single-family zones and that these homes belong in multifamily areas." We will certainly be following this story. In the meantime, best of luck to those fighting this ridiculous piece of legislation. .

Saturday, March 12, 2011


We were flipping through the excellent The Suburb Reader today, and noticed this amazing 1948 subdivision plan:

The caption reads: Proposed Subdivision Plan for Urban Villas, 1948. This subdivision plan, prepared by the FHA for a black veterans' group in Atlanta, bears the hallmarks of segregated suburban planning in the South. To secure white support, black civic leaders accepted and even emphasized the fifty-foot 'screen planting strip' that separated the development from white neighbors.

This is of course analogous to the infamous concrete WALL that developers of an African American subdivision in Detroit had to build to secure FHA financing. Both are classic examples of the resourcefulness of exclusion. Note however, the presence on the subdivision plan of an inclusionary measure: the CUL DE SAC SHORTCUT.