I spent the last several years on an extended tangent exploring land use policy, the dynamics of a shifting economic and political landscape, and popular interpretations of how things should be. I’ve come to a peculiar set of conclusions and it’s not what I expected.
We have a collection of rules, regulations, social expectations, and a cost structure that reinforces and mandates a very specific set of arrangements. Here’s one example of how these things shape our lives. A family bought an old fire station a few years ago with the intention of turning it in to a Portuguese bakery and brew pub. They thought they’d have to retrofit the interior of the building to meet health and safety standards for such an establishment. Turns out, the cost of bringing the landscape around the outside of the building up to code was their primary impediment.
Mandatory parking requirements, sidewalks, curb…
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